Rams' Needs: Punters/Kickers

04/14/2006
Rams Wilkins
Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins.
(Chris Lee/P-D)

Kicker Jeff Wilkins signed a four-year, $6.4 million contract extension during the '05 season. The new deal carries him through the 2009 season, and Wilkins remains one of the top kickers in the game. If the Rams sign another place-kicker during the offseason, it will be merely a camp leg to keep Wilkins' leg fresh.

As for punter, the Rams bypassed free agent Jason Baker, going for a cheaper alternative in veteran Matt Turk. Nothing against Turk, who's had a fine career, but he'll be 38 before the start of training camp and missed the entire 2005 season with a groin injury. This hardly seems like an inspired choice for a team that has given plenty of lip service to improving its shoddy special teams' play.

It's possible the Rams could use a late-round pick or sign a rookie free agent to challenge Turk in training camp. Colorado's John Torp, one of the punters available in this year's draft, has worked out for the Rams.