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Thread: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

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    An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Peter King (and, no, I'm not saying he's the ultimate authority) put out a list of the Top 50 FAs a couple of weeks ago. While there are other lists out there, his list includes many of the same names you'd find on most.

    Here's what has happened to these 50 players:

    14 re-signed with their 2011 team
    13 remain unsigned
    23 have signed with a new team

    Those 23 were signed by 16 teams, meaning 16 teams (half the league!) have yet to sign away one of the players listed from a different team.

    Of the 16 teams who have signed a "Top 50 FA," only 7 have signed more than one player.

    They are:

    Tampa Bay: Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks
    Seattle: Matt Flynn, Jason Jones
    Dallas: Brandon Carr, Kyle Orton
    San Diego: Robert Meachem, Jarrett Johnson
    Washington: Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan
    Jacksonville: Chad Henne, Laurent Robinson

    and

    St. Louis: Cortland Finnegan, Scott Wells

    So, while this is not the only measure of FA success, I would say that it is a good enough indicator that the Rams are, in fact, making progress in FA. It also is a pretty good retort to those PD Board types who like to post things like "nobody wants to play in St. Louis!"

    When you factor in these signings (plus Langford) and the trade, I'd say the new Front Office is off to a very good start.
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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    I agree the FO has done a very good job... interested in seeing some of the lower tier plays they bring in during the remaining FA period.

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    My winner of offseason so far? #Rams! (INSIDER) NFL - St. Louis Rams well-positioned to improve - ESPN -- Matt Williamson (@WilliamsonNFL)

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Excellent way to look at the FA season. I'm afraid sometimes we believe the front office has failed if they don't sign half-a-dozen pro bowlers. But as you've shown here, there's only a handful that sign multiple notable free agents.




    And not to argue with Peter King, but Jacksonville signed multiple "top 50" free agents?
    Jacksonville: Chad Henne, Laurent Robinson
    I'm still waiting for Jax to sign their first "top 50" free agent.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    And not to argue with Peter King, but Jacksonville signed multiple "top 50" free agents? I'm still waiting for Jax to sign their first "top 50" free agent.
    A fair point, no doubt. FWIW, the Rams' two signees were ranked 3rd (Finnegan) and 18th (Wells) by King.

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    A fair point, no doubt. FWIW, the Rams' two signees were ranked 3rd (Finnegan) and 18th (Wells) by King.
    Like you said, couple that with the trade, and Fishead is off and running.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    And not to argue with Peter King, but Jacksonville signed multiple "top 50" free agents? I'm still waiting for Jax to sign their first "top 50" free agent.
    Top 50 free agent is different from top 50 player. The free agent pool is much shallower than the actual overall talent pool, and second tier talent will always be in the top 50. It's like being a top 50 player at one position. Ok, so you are top 50, but there are 32 teams, which means that at least the bottom 18 of those guys aren't starters. This year's pool seemed to have a nice stable of talent at the top, and then a sharp drop off.

    However, I feel OUR top "50 guys" are much better than Jax's top 50 guys, especially since one was considered the top available player at his position, and one of the better players at that position in the league.

    Also there are a few posters who seem to bemoan every time a player doesn't choose the Rams, as if we had unlimited cap space to offer more money, and it was a simple matter of just getting the deal done that the Rams failed at, which isn't actually simple at all. However I also feel those posters, at least here, are the vast minority.

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Also there are a few posters who seem to bemoan every time a player doesn't choose the Rams, as if we had unlimited cap space to offer more money
    ... and that the Rams are the only team trying to sign these players.

    I agree that this is probably more of a vocal minority.

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Here is Matt Williamsons article btw, don't ask me why but I signed up for ESPN Insider a few months ago:

    Although I question the manner in which Washington has spent its money in free agency, I commend the Redskins and consider them an offseason winner-to-date for one simple reason: They landed the No. 2 pick and the chance to draft Robert Griffin III.That is a tremendous accomplishment -- no matter the price. Because that was such a splashy move by the Redskins, few are talking about St. Louis. With the first big wave of free agency more or less over, the Rams have been huge winners this offseason and haven't gotten the media recognition for how well they are now set up.
    NFL Rumor Central

    ESPN Insider can help you keep up with the latest twists and turns of NFL free agency. Check back often for the latest buzz. Rumor Central


    Unlike the Redskins, the Rams had their franchise quarterback in place in Sam Bradford. But Bradford's supporting cast is among the very worst in the league. It isn't going to happen overnight, but I expect that times are about to get much brighter for St. Louis.
    The trade with Washington is the first thing that absolutely must be addressed in this capacity. This was the perfect year to own the second overall pick in the draft. In exchange for said pick, St. Louis moved to the sixth overall selection and picked up a bevy of early picks that new coach Jeff Fisher can use to build the Rams in his image. This trade was a win-win for St. Louis and Washington.
    Before we get to free agency, let's discuss where the Rams sit for the draft. Again, they need just about everything outside of quarterback, middle linebacker and defensive end. Picking sixth overall is a great spot for a team with so many needs. Andrew Luck and Griffin will be the first two selections. Matt Kalil -- who would look fantastic protecting Bradford's blindside -- should certainly go third to Minnesota. Assuming those three are gone, St. Louis will have their choice of CB Morris Claiborne, WR Justin Blackmon and RB Trent Richardson.
    [+] EnlargeJustin Edmonds/Getty ImagesThe Rams should be able to land QB Sam Bradford some much-needed weapons.


    I love any of these three for the Rams and here is why. Claiborne would be match up perfectly opposite the recently signed Cortland Finnegan, and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams demands an awful lot from his cover man, as he blitzes as much as any other defensive playcaller in football. I don't see Blackmon as aCalvin Johnson or A.J. Green type of wide receiver coming out of college, but I do foresee him as a true No. 1 wideout at this level -- an excellent value at No. 6. A No. 1 wide receiver is exactly what Bradford needs.
    As for Richardson, Fisher has to absolutely love this guy. Steven Jackson still has some good football left and, generally speaking, I am not fond of using such a high draft choice on a running back, but with a plethora of other high picks over the next few years, the Rams can afford to make such a selection. And with Jackson already in place, Richardson could split carries, which might extend Jackson's career while also reducing some of Richardson's wear and tear.
    The Rams can't lose at No. 6. St. Louis is also in great position to add more quality talent with two early second-round picks. And they can be very aggressive, whether it is this draft or the next, to trade picks to move up for a player they fall in love with. The Rams have a ton of great cards in their hand.
    Free agency also has gone very well for St. Louis. Finnegan was a tremendous signing. Again, Williams puts a lot of stress on his corners. Finnegan proved he is still a very able cover man -- either in man coverage or zone -- with an excellent 2011 season with Tennessee. Finnegan also can align all over the defensive formation and is a very good run defender and blitzer. Of course, Fisher and Finnegan are also extremely familiar with each other. His brash-but-physical play can rub some people wrong, but that is exactly the style of play Fisher wants from his team.
    Scott Wells is a massive upgrade at center over Jason Brown, who was a major disappointment. Wells immediately becomes the leader of this young and beleaguered offensive line. He is among the top half-dozen or so players at his position right now in the league. Although I thought former Fisher player Jason Jones was a better fit, Kendall Langford is a very good all-around player who will certainly bolster St. Louis' defensive front. I see Langford as more of a 3-4 defensive end than a 4-3 player, but with the Rams, I expect him to take more of a penetrating role aligned on the outside shoulder of a guard, while also playing end in short-yardage situations and contributing inside on throwing downs as a pass-rusher.
    More should happen for the Rams with signings. Some starting-caliber young targets whom St. Louis should aggressively pursue and are in a great position to fit under their salary cap include Brodrick Bunkley, Erin Henderson and Demetrius Bell at offensive tackle. A few lesser-priced targets should include Anthony Collins, Philip Wheeler, Joel Dreessen, Derek Landri, Amobi Okoye and William Gay. All these names should be very enticing to a rebuilding Rams squad.
    One thing that can't be overlooked -- but often is -- during free agency is getting rid of dead weight and overvalued players. The Rams did just that be releasing Brown, Fred Robbins,Ron Bartell, James Hall and Justin Bannan. Several of these players might have some quality football left in them, but as a whole, the money St. Louis saved by releasing them should pay off handsomely, and what are the chances this group of aged veterans will still be contributors if/when the Rams eventually become contenders?
    St. Louis' offseason is all about the future. The Rams are not going to win the Super Bowl this coming season, but they might before long if they play the great cards they have in their hand correctly. The best is yet to come. I would love to be the top personnel decision-maker in St. Louis' organization right now.
    viper and RockinRam like this.


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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Finnegan and Wells were major gets. Langford is an unheralded signing that I think will help solidify a weakness. The trade brought in a huge haul of picks that will surely help this team. While I would have preferred to see something more done at the WR position through the first week, there's no question this has been a productive free agency period that looks like it will yield some pretty positive results for this team.
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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Top 50 free agent is different from top 50 player. The free agent pool is much shallower than the actual overall talent pool, and second tier talent will always be in the top 50.
    Yes. And I wouldn't rank those two as high as 2nd tier talent.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: An interesting way to look at the Rams' FA progress

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Yes. And I wouldn't rank those two as high as 2nd tier talent.
    Well can you name 50 free agents that are definitely better than those two? It's harder to get to 50 than it seems at first.

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