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Thread: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks
Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks
Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks
Monday, February 27, 2006
By Nick Wagoner
In 2005, the Rams got an opportunity to take a long look at their quarterback situation with three signal callers getting plenty of opportunities to prove themselves.
Of course, starter Marc Bulger was already well established, but after watching their backup quarterback situation nearly cost them a postseason chance in 2004, the Rams found out plenty about the backups last year. And the results of the Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jamie Martin experiments were mixed.
As it stands, the Rams have two quarterbacks (Bulger and Fitzpatrick) under contract for next season. Bulger will once again handle the starting job, but the backup spots remain in limbo. Jeff Smoker is an exclusive rights free agent and will almost certainly be back.
“We have backup quarterback scenarios that have come up,” coach Scott Linehan said.
With that in mind, the Rams will probably look to free agency, which starts Friday, to find an experienced, veteran quarterback whom Linehan is comfortable with. The list of usual suspects will be available again with the likes of Charlie Batch, Jeff Blake and Martin available.
While the Rams are set with Bulger as the starter, it has become clear in recent seasons that having a solid backup quarterback is vital. There are a couple of big names quarterbacks available in San Diego’s Drew Brees and it has been clear that Minnesota’s Daunte Culpepper is available for trade and might be put on the market as a free agent should he be released.
Linehan has already put to rest the possibility of bringing in Culpepper and the Rams clearly won’t be in pursuit of someone as high priced as either Brees or Culpepper.
One intriguing option could be Arizona’s Josh McCown. McCown has started off and on for the Cardinals, but Arizona recently signed Kurt Warner to a pricey three-year deal that entrenches him as the starter. That means McCown will be available, but he is likely to shop for a chance to be a starter, something that won’t be available in St. Louis.
Another possibility that could intrigue Linehan is Miami’s Sage Rosenfels. Rosenfels played for Linehan in Miami last year and brings size and experience to the table. Linehan likes Rosenfels, but it remains to be seen whether he would be considered an upgrade over what the Rams already have.
Actually, one quarterback on the roster might already have an advantage heading into the offseason. Smoker spent last season bouncing back forth between the practice squad, the active roster and free agency. But Smoker never really got a fair chance in the preseason because of Mike Martz’s affinity for Fitzpatrick.
Smoker might be reborn with the addition of Doug Nussmeier as quarterbacks coach. Nussmeier served in the same position for Smoker at Michigan State and helped Smoker to his best years behind center. Smoker is likely to be brought back to the team and will probably be given a shot to compete for one of the backup spots.
Other quarterbacks available include Chris Weinke, Jeff Garcia and Anthony Wright.
Quarterbacks Under Contract (2): Marc Bulger and Ryan Fitzpatrick
Needs: At least one, possibly two quarterbacks to compete for the second and third spots on the depth chart.
Possibilities: Jeff Smoker (Exclusive Rights), Sage Rosenfels, Josh McCown, Charlie Batch, Anthony Wright.
Top Five Available
1. Drew Brees
2. Chris Simms
3. Josh McCown
4. Jon Kitna
5. Tim Rattay
Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks
As crazy as it might sound, Tim Rattay is a guy that I wouldn't mind competing for the backup role. He's reasonably attainable and he wasn't the problem in SF. He actually picked apart the Rams a couple of times didn't he? I thought he was in a real good situation in TB but he's basically buried on the depth chart there now. He's not a hall of famer but I don't think he's had a real chance to play. Let him play on a team that actually has an offense and he might be pretty good.
Re: Free Agent Preview: QuarterbacksAs crazy as it might sound, Tim Rattay is a guy that I wouldn't mind competing for the backup role. He's reasonably attainable and he wasn't the problem in SF. He actually picked apart the Rams a couple of times didn't he? I thought he was in a real good situation in TB but he's basically buried on the depth chart there now. He's not a hall of famer but I don't think he's had a real chance to play. Let him play on a team that actually has an offense and he might be pretty good.