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  1. #1
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    Thomas: Rams Will Let Most Of Their Free Agents Walk

    Rams will let most of their free agents walk

    BY JIM THOMAS
    Friday, March 9, 2012

    With the free agency period beginning March 13, the Rams have just four days of exclusive negotiating rights when it comes to re-signing their own players. Once the free agency and trading period begins Tuesday afternoon, those Rams free agents can shop the market, negotiate, and sign with anyone in the NFL.

    The Rams have a long list of pending unrestricted free agents — 20 players— but are interested in re-signing only a handful of those 20. Unless things heat up between now and next Tuesday, the Rams might not have any of those players re-signed before the start of free agency.

    If nothing else, the lack of activity is a sign the Rams might be saving most of their dollars to sign outside free agents. When you've lost 65 of your past 80 games, standing pat isn't the desired course of action anyway. The Rams are trying to upgrade the roster, not bring the band back together for a reunion tour.

    The "headliner" among Rams free agents is wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, who led the team in catches (51), yards (683), and touchdown catches (five) despite playing in only 11 Rams games after his October trade from Denver. The Rams are talking to Lloyd's agent, but indications are that contract talks are far from the hot-and-heavy stage.

    Lloyd might want to test the market, anyway, especially with benefactor Josh McDaniels now working as offensive coordinator in New England, where the Patriots need help at receiver. And the Rams might want to extend themselves only so far with Lloyd given the other potential options in the draft and free agency.

    Among their other pending free agents, the Rams also have been in discussions with left guard Jacob Bell, outside linebacker Chris Chamberlain and punter Donnie Jones. Bell spent his first four seasons with coach Jeff Fisher in Tennessee before signing with the Rams as a free agent in 2008. He missed the last four games of the 2011 season with a right knee injury, an injury that did not require surgery. But the new Rams regime thought Bell blocked well in his later games, particularly against New Orleans.

    Jones had his worst season as a Ram in 2011, but punted at or close to a Pro Bowl level in his four previous years with St. Louis. The Rams considered placing a transition tag on Jones prior to the March 5 deadline for transition or franchise tags but opted against it.

    The Rams are early in talks with Chamberlain, who enjoyed the best season of his four-year NFL career in 2011 with career highs in starts (13), tackles (82), and sacks (two) while primarily playing weakside linebacker.

    AMENDOLA TENDERED

    Wide receiver Danny Amendola has been informed by the Rams that he will be tendered at a second-round level as a restricted free agent. Restricted free agents are players with three years NFL experience and expired contracts.

    As a restricted free agent, Amendola can get outside offers, but the Rams have the right to match any contract and thus keep him in St. Louis. Because of the tender level, if the Rams chose not to match, they would get a second-round draft pick as compensation.

    The cost for the one-year tenders has yet to be set by the league. Last year, the second-round tender amount was about $1.8 million.

    The Rams have yet to decide whether to make a tender offer to defensive lineman C.J. Ah You before Monday's deadline. Amendola and Ah You are the Rams' only restricted free agents.

    CAMP AT HOME

    The Rams have decided to hold training camp in St. Louis, at Rams Park, this summer. There is just too much going on this offseason for new Rams coach Jeff Fisher to even consider holding camp elsewhere. And once the Tennessee Titans settled in at Nashville, Fisher's teams always trained at home there.


  2. #2
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Thomas: Rams Will Let Most Of Their Free Agents Walk

    AMENDOLA TENDERED

    Wide receiver Danny Amendola has been informed by the Rams that he will be tendered at a second-round level as a restricted free agent. Restricted free agents are players with three years NFL experience and expired contracts.
    Danny Amendola is the only one that I want back...

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