Nick Wagoner Wednesday Evening
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
- The news out of Texas that the owners voted 30-2 to approve a new six-year collective bargaining agreement might have come later than we'd all have liked, but it's better late than never. Without knowing the full extent of the agreement, it's hard to say which side came out on top, though it's probably a safe bet to say that both sides are happy with the deal. The real winners are the fans, who now don't have to worry about a long, ugly lockout or strike in a couple of years.
- According to initial reports, free agency will be pushed back another day and the official league year will begin Friday morning. It also appears that the salary cap will be bumped another $10 million. That would be huge news for teams that are over the cap now and even better news for eams already under the cap. After signing defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, the Rams still have plenty of cap room and if there's an extra $10 million to spend, it should only help in the pursuit of defensive additions and, especially, in the efforts to bring back receiver Isaac Bruce. Again, the official details of the cap are not clear yet, but most signs are pointing to the larger cap.
- Some quick free agent tidbits...Linebacker Derek Smith re-signing with ........ is a little bit of a blow. He was one of the top linebackers on the market and has long been coveted by the Rams. Once again, the Rams won't get a crack at Smith. There are some other solid linebackers on the market that could be of interest. Expect the Rams to after at least one linebacker (with middle linebacker the top priority) and perhaps another veteran, depending on what they think will be available in the draft. Corey Chavous and Lawyer Milloy are possibilities at safety, but defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is serious about retaining Adam Archuleta. The Glover signing was a nice start and he seems like he will be effective not only on the field, but in the locker room. Scott Linehan values guys that bring those intangible qualities along with talent. If indeed the salary cap number increases, it's going to be an interesting market. The teams with money will have lots to spend and so it will be imperative to come with top-line offers right away. In other words, if someone you really want comes to town for a visit, it will be a good idea to get ink on a contract before that player leaves.
- That's all for tonight, but we'll have a look tomorrow at where the Rams stand heading into free agency and what the new collective bargaining agreement could mean to the future of the franchise.