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Slow and Steady Wins the Race: The Rams’ Approach to Free Agency

The past two days have been fairly uneventful for the Rams, which lead a lot of people to wonder just what the heck Les Snead is doing. All that needs to be said to these people having a panic attack are calm down, breath; Snead knows what he’s doing.

Initially, it hurt a little bit to see Jarius Byrd go to New Orleans. Then it hurt even more to see Alterraun Verner go to Tampa Bay for the price he did. Byrd drew a six-year contract worth $54 million from the Saints. Although, Byrd is a great safety, that is a lot of money that could be spent at multiple positions or some time in the future. Verner got a much more reasonable deal in Tampa Bay at four years, $26.5 million. Should the Rams have signed Verner for that price tag? Absolutely. All that can be said is that it’s free agency and sometimes guys get away from you and they make unexpected moves.

The next big problem has been the offensive line situation. With all the problems with keeping a healthy offensive line last year you would the depth at offensive line would be a top priority for Snead. But instead we have Rodger Saffold to the Raiders, Harvey Dahl cut, Chris Williams to the Bills, and Shelly Smith visiting New England and New York (Giants). Snead was right to let Saffold walk at the price he was asking but there is simply no excuse for letting all this depth walk away from the team. Currently, Brandon Washington is the only true guard on the team if you do not count Barrett Jones as well. This is simply unacceptable and something has to be done.

Now for the good news. The Rams are currently in talks with two-time pro bowl free agent guard Davin Joseph. Even though Joseph is not a super star guard he’s definitely a starting caliber guard. Snead cannot afford to let him get away. Even though the Rams missed out on Verner there’s still talent left at corner. Captain Munnerlyn has turned into a very solid NFL corner and is still available. Brandon Browner is still available but will miss some time with a suspension. Finally, if the Rams are looking for wide receiver help so they can focus on positions like offensive line in the draft, they’re in luck. Hakeem Nicks, James Jones, Eric Decker, Kenny Britt, and Emmanuel Sanders are all still available. Although, none of these guys should be paid number one receiver money, if they can be picked up at the right price they could be great pick ups. The silver lining in the fact that the Rams have be inactive in free agency is that a lot of guys are going to start bringing down there price tags and the Rams could find themselves grabbing some solid contributors for solid prices.

Is it time to panic yet? No, but if Snead does not pick up some depth at offensive line soon it could be time to start panicking. As I wrote this article news broke that Rodger Saffold will not sign with the Raiders due to a failed physical. If he’s willing to take a more reasonable price it could be possible that not having enough depth has scared Snead into re-opening talks with Saffold. Picking up offensive guards is a must but a corner or wide receiver could be a nice prize, but nowhere near at the top the Rams list. We’ll see in the next few days what Snead has in his back pocket.


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