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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    It was a strange season to be a Rams quarterback.

    By the time the Rams changed coaches after the fourth week of the 2008 season, Marc Bulger had been the starter and then benched in favor of Trent Green. When the Rams replaced Scott Linehan with Jim Haslett, Haslett immediately re-installed Bulger as the starter.

    When all was said and done, Bulger started 15 games, all but the Buffalo game that Green started. Along the way, Green stepped in for Bulger in games against the New York Jets and Chicago.

    But neither signal caller distinguished himself and it was clear by the end of the season that quarterback play was certainly not one of the teamís strengths in 2008.

    In his 15 games, Bulger was 251-of-440 for 2,720 yards with 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His 57 percent completion percentage was the worst of his career and the cap on what was perhaps the poorest season of Bulgerís career.

    Green didnít fare much better in limited action, going 38-of-72 for 525 yards with no touchdowns and six interceptions for a rating of 41.7.

    The only other quarterback on the roster, Brock Berlin, threw three passes for 6 yards. Point of fact, the most efficient passer the Rams had was receiver Dane Looker, who completed two of three passes for 17 yards for a rating of 81.3.

    As the Rams prepare for free agency, which is set to begin on Feb. 27, one area they will have to take a look at is quarterback.

    Bulger isnít going anywhere after signing a lucrative six-year contract with the team on July 27, 2007. Even if the Rams were inclined to deal him or release him, the cost against the cap would make it prohibitive.

    The Rams signed Green to a three-year deal to be Bulgerís backup last offseason in hopes that he could step in for Bulger if things went awry. While he is still under contract it remains to be seen whether Green will get the opportunity to come back or if he might even consider retirement.

    Releasing Green would create more than $1 million in salary cap space, money that could go toward finding another backup capable of competing for the starting job should the Rams choose to open the competition. Green does have a relationship with new quarterbacks coach Dick Curl.

    This yearís free agent market isnít exactly flush with quality quarterbacks. The top two guys, New Englandís Matt Cassel and Arizonaís Kurt Warner are almost certain to remain with their current teams.

    The Patriots already slapped the franchise tag on Cassel and though heís likely trade bait, itís extremely doubtful the Rams would give up the compensation in terms of money and picks to get him.

    Warner has made it clear he will only play in Arizona should he choose to return.

    Beyond that, the Rams could investigate finding another veteran to at least back up Bulger or potentially compete with him in training camp.

    In that regard, there are some young quarterbacks who never reached their potential that are ready to hit the market.

    Pittsburghís Byron Leftwich played well in spot duty for Ben Roethlisberger this year and is expecting to cash in on the open market by finding a starting job.

    Some names that could be of interest to the Rams include Buffaloís J.P. Losman, Tampa Bayís Jeff Garcia, Denverís Patrick Ramsey and Baltimoreís Kyle Boller.

    The possibility remains, too, that the Rams will eschew the position in free agency and search for a prospect in Aprilís NFL Draft.

    Rams Quarterbacks Under Contract

    Marc Bulger, Trent Green, Brock Berlin

    Top Free Agent Quarterbacks

    1. Matt Cassel, New England Ė The Patriots slapped the franchise tag on Cassel to the surprise of nobody. Heís not going anywhere until itís determined Tom Brady is healthy and the Patriots get maximum compensation for him.

    2. Kurt Warner, Arizona Ė Itís probably the Cardinals or bust for Warner, who is considering retirement as well.

    3. Kerry Collins, Tennessee Ė His revival with the Titans makes him an intriguing stopgap option but heíll likely remain where he is.

    4. Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay Ė An experienced veteran who can provide stability to a team with young signal callers or compete for a starting job with a team in need of a vet.

    5. Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh Ė Showed glimpses of being the guy who was picked in the top 10 when he subbed for Ben Roethlisberger. Wants a shot to start but wonít likely be guaranteed a job.

    Jeff Garcia is a guy I loved to hate .. However, if we are truly going to a West Coast offense, he might not be a bad option. On the other hand he may not wish to sign as a backup .. Thoughts on this??


  2. #2
    Shan the Ram Man's Avatar
    Shan the Ram Man is offline Registered User
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Cut Trent Green first.
    Draft a QB & pick up a undrafted freeagent.
    If the draft pick & undrafted freeagent play better than B. Berlin cut him too. If a young drafted QB dosen't show vast improvement every year ,then cut him after his 3rd year. He should have pushed and proven he is a better QB than the starter by then.
    I don't think any of those freeagent Qb's are the answer.

  3. #3
    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Shan the Ram Man View Post
    Cut Trent Green first.
    Draft a QB & pick up a undrafted freeagent.
    If the draft pick & undrafted freeagent play better than B. Berlin cut him too. If a young drafted QB dosen't show vast improvement every year ,then cut him after his 3rd year. He should have pushed and proven he is a better QB than the starter by then.
    I don't think any of those freeagent Qb's are the answer.
    I agree!

    That is a very good point that you made. Every bit of this post was a good one. I like your analysis of drafting and picking up an UDFA.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  4. #4
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Shan the Ram Man View Post
    I don't think any of those freeagent Qb's are the answer.
    You are likely correct because of money issues, but I would prefer to have a vet QB with some game experience as the number two guy. There is little doubt we will be inviting at least one undrafted free agent QB to camp, and possibly select one as well late in the draft.

  5. #5
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    i think as far as backup goes, Leftwich or Cassel would do us pretty good...i would love to see Garcia for the Rams but your right, if he signs as a backup who knows how long he'll sit there(Bulgers comin back baby!!!!!...lol) and he really doesnt have much time to be messin with this kind of thing because of the age factor and what not..

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