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2012 NFL Offseason: St. Louis Rams

Draft Grades, Season Previews, Offseason Needs, Free Agents



St. Louis Rams (Last Year: 2-14)

2012 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
WR Steve Smith, OT Barry Richardson, C Scott Wells, DE William Hayes, DT Kendall Langford, DT Trevor Laws, OLB Mario Haggan, OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, CB Cortland Finnegan.
Early Draft Picks:
DT Michael Brockers, WR Brian Quick, CB Janoris Jenkins, RB Isaiah Pead, S Trumaine Johnson, WR Chris Givens, K Greg Zuerlein.
Offseason Losses:
RB Cadillac Williams, WR Brandon Lloyd, WR Mark Clayton, G Jacob Bell, G Adam Goldberg, C Jason Brown, DE James Hall, DT Justin Bannan, DT Fred Robbins, DT Gary Gibson, OLB Chris Chamberlain, OLB Brady Poppinga, CB Ronald Bartell, CB Justin King, K Josh Brown, P Donnie Jones.

2012 St. Louis Rams Offense:
What a difference a year can make. Sam Bradford won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010, performing very impressively for a St. Louis team that didn't have any play-makers outside of Steven Jackson. However, Bradford's completion percentage dropped from 60.0 in 2010 to 53.5 in 2011, while his YPA remained the same. He also had 18 touchdowns to 17 turnovers (15 INTs, 2 fumbles) as a rookie, but saw that ratio plummet to six scores compared to 13 give-aways (6 INTs, 7 fumbles).

So, what happened? A number of things, actually. Danny Amendola, Bradford's favorite receiver, went down in Week 1. That could have been the culprit for his slow start, but he didn't improve much after the team dealt for Brandon Lloyd. Bradford suffered a high ankle sprain in October, a malady that lingered throughout the season, but he was already struggling before that.

The biggest reason for Bradford's regression was the offensive line. The blocking unit was simply dreadful. It surrendered a league-worst 55 sacks, and was just as dreadful at the end of the season as it was in September. Left tackle Rodger Saffold's play really fell off. He was solid in 2010, but happened to be responsible for 11 sacks and 10 penalties last year. Meanwhile, right tackle Jason Smith didn't see much action because of lingering concussion symptoms. He's been a huge bust anyway, so it's a shame that the Rams failed to find anyone to upgrade the position. Had they stayed at No. 2 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, they could have selected Matt Kalil and moved Saffold to right tackle. But that did not happen, much to the chagrin of Bradford.

The interior of the offensive front was just as anemic. Center-right guard Jason Brown and left guard Jacob Bell were awful, so neither will be back. St. Louis was able to find a replacement at center with former Packer Scott Wells, who signed a 4-year, $24 million contract this spring. Wells is one of the top centers in the NFL, so he'll provide some stability to the offensive line next to Harvey Dahl, who is also decent. Unfortunately, someone named Bryan Mattison is occupying the left guard position, which will probably prove to be disastrous.

It's clear that the offensive line hasn't improved enough, so Bradford will probably struggle and get banged up once again in 2012. He might actually be ruined anyway. Bradford quite frequently appeared as though he felt phantom pressure in the pocket last year. No one can really blame him because he's been knocked around so many times, but it appears as though he may have already developed David Carr Syndrome. And there's no turning back from that.

It definitely doesn't help Bradford's cause that the front office failed to find a No. 1 wideout for him. St. Louis spent top-100 selections on receivers Brian Quick and Chris Givens, but both are rookies and cannot be counted on, especially when the former is considered a raw, long-term project. Lloyd is also gone, but on the bright side, Amendola is back from his triceps injury.

Making matters worse, Steven Jackson is all but done. Almost every single running back in NFL history has seen a sharp decline in production after 2,100 career carries. Jackson has already exceeded that mark. It's not an absolute - there have been outliers like Emmitt Smith - but considering the amount of injuries that Jackson has endured over the years, it's likely that he'll experience severe skill erosion in 2012. If so, third-round rookie Isaiah Pead will have to step up.





2012 St. Louis Rams Defense:
Given Sam Bradford's issues, St. Louis' stop unit will have to carry the team this year. While the defense projects to be much better than the offense, it has enough holes to prevent it from becoming an elite unit - including the absence of shamed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

The linebacker position is a mess. James Laurinaitis, manning the middle, is a very good player, but there are nothing but no-talents surrounding him. Jo-Lonn Dunbar, a major liability in every facet of the game, will be the starting strongside linebacker. The third man in the group is the recently signed Rocky McIntosh, who underachieved in Washington. If McIntosh can't play well, it'll be up to 2010 undrafted free agent Justin Cole, who has never played a single defensive snap in his professional career.

The safety area is also a problem. Strong safety Quintin Mikell struggled a bit in coverage last year and won't be any better in 2012 because he'll turn 32 in mid-September. The free safety position will be a battle between the anemic Darian Stewart and third-round rookie Trumaine Johnson.

St. Louis' stop unit has a bunch of strengths, however, starting up front. Chris Long is one of the top defensive ends in all of football. He recorded 13 sacks in 2011, which is really impressive because the Rams were often behind, meaning the opposition didn't have to throw very much. Robert Quinn will start opposite of Long. The second-year lineman had five sacks in 2011, four of which came in Week 8 or later, so there's a good chance he'll improve upon his seasonal total this year.

The Rams entered the offseason with two glaring holes at defensive tackle. They may have filled them with Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers. Langford isn't very good against the run, but he can create a consistent pass rush on the interior. Brockers, the 14th-overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, is the complete opposite. He's young and raw, and doesn't have the necessary pass-rushing skills just yet. He can really do a good job of clogging running lanes, however.

St. Louis should produce a decent sack total - it had 39 of them in 2011 - which will make life easier for a solid group of cornerbacks. The Rams' big free-agent acquisition was Cortland Finnegan, who inked a 5-year, $50 million contract in March. Finnegan, formerly of Tennessee, led all corners in surrendered YPA (4.3) last year.

Despite signing Finnegan, the Rams didn't have a worthy No. 2 corner to play across from him entering the 2012 NFL Draft. They may have fixed that by obtaining Janoris Jenkins in the second round. Jenkins has major character concerns, but there's no questioning his unbelievable talent. He would have been a top-15 selection had he not gotten kicked out of Florida for a series of marijuana-related arrests. Jenkins has sworn to the media that those days are behind him, but he'll have to prove it.





2012 St. Louis Rams Schedule and Intangibles:
Remember when the Edwards Jones Dome was such a huge advantage for the Greatest Show on Turf? Sam Bradford will have to rekindle that magic, much like Matt Ryan did with the Georgia Dome. The Rams were 1-7 as hosts last year.

Josh Brown used to be one of the NFL's top kickers, but he struggled in 2011 and consequently was released. St. Louis will have to count on rookie Greg Zuerlein, who was an amazing 9-of-9 from 50-plus in college last season.

The Rams also lost punter Donnie Jones, so they'll be using 28-year-old rookie Tom Malone.

St. Louis has surrendered two special-teams scores in each of the previous two seasons. That's now 10 since 2006. The Rams took one of their own back to the house, but were outgained on both kick and punt returns. This is yet another area Jeff Fisher will be tasked to fix.

One would think the Rams would have an easy, last-place schedule, but they begin the year at Detroit, then home to the improved Redskins led by Robert Griffin and then on the road at Soldier Field. There's a short reprieve with consecutive matchups versus the Seahawks, Cardinals and Dolphins, but then St. Louis has to battle the Packers, Patriots and 49ers in a span of four weeks.

2012 St. Louis Rams Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):

Quarterbacks
Offensive Line
Secondary
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams
Receivers
Linebackers
Coaching


2012 St. Louis Rams Analysis: The Rams will be better than last year. Their defense has improved and Sam Bradford is healthy again. Plus, Jeff Fisher is worth a win or two just on his own. However, St. Louis still has tons of holes, especially on offense, and it will once again be one of the worst teams in the NFL. It's also unfortunate, but there may not be any hope for the immediate future if Bradford has indeed contracted David Carr Syndrome.

Projection: 4-12 (4th in NFC West)


2012 Fantasy Football Rankings


More 2012 NFL Season Previews

*** 2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES, OFFSEASON NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***


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Wise Man Says 03-25-2012 01:49 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
9     9

I get what you're saying about 1st rd. RB risk. Not to mention the RB position has one of the shortest shelf lives of any pos. in the NFL & many teams are going to a committee. For the sake of conversation, I'd say there are 2 types of 1st rd. RB: one's you think are studs (high picks) & ones you think are good & worth a 1st Rd. pick. Richardson is the former, so I think it's important look at the history of those guys, not just any 1st rd RB. These are the RBs taken in the top 10 since 2004:

Spiller (10'-#9), Mcfadden (08'-#4), AP (07'-#7), Bush (06'-#2), Ronnie Brown (05'-#2), Benson (05'-#4), Williams (05'-#5).

#11-15
Mathews (#12), Knowshon (#12), Jonathan Stewart (#13), Marshawn Lynch (#12)

It supports your argument about "stud" RB picks somewhat (though obviously all picks are a gamble). Of those top 10 guys, only AP has been a real stud. I'd argue Bush has been a top 10 pick caliber player (not #2 caliber). His numbers haven't been stellar, but he's been one of the most dynamic players in the game & looked pretty good running with the Dolphins (1086 rush yds. 5 ypc.), getting steady carries away from the NOLA RB carousel . Mcfadden looks like he'll justify the high pick, if he can stay healthy. Spiller was clearly a reach, even then.

The list is not full of superstars, I agree. It doesn't really make me feel any better or worse about the idea of taking richardson though, if, after all the pre-draft scrutiny, they feel he's THAT guy. But it does make me feel slightly like trading the pick would be the better route (b/c there are so many stars not in that top 15 list).
STLSuperman 03-23-2012 09:04 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.189 (total posts: 6)
17     15

I just hate drafting RB's that early. A look at first round RB's: Jahvid Best, Spiller, Beanie, Moreno, Moroney, Bush, Addai, Felix, Donald Brown, Jonathan Stewart...this is since 2006. A lot of busts with AD, DeAngelo Williams, McFadden, Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Mark Ingram and Ryan Mathews being all that have "panned" out. And, it took a bit for Williams, McFadden and Mendenhall to hit their stride. There is just so much downside to first round RB's. As I said before I couldn't fault them for it, but there are so many other needs far greater than SJax's successor.
STLSuperman 03-23-2012 08:51 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.189 (total posts: 6)
16     17

I would love to have Kalil. A small part of me was hoping the Rams kept the 2 spot to get him. I don't see any way the Vikes let him go.
I see the logic on Richardson if Claiborne and Blackmon are gone. If that were the case there is no way I could fault the Rams for taking Richardson over Reiff or DeCastro or whoever. If Blackmon and Claiborne are gone I would rather trade down and get more picks. Especially since we have 2 first rounders next year and Marcus Lattimore is coming out. I'm a big fan of that workhorse. I think SJax has a couple of years left and I hope we can bring in a decent spell back so he can stay healthy.
Wise Man Says 03-23-2012 02:18 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
15     15

I would find it hard to be sold on the idea of drafting Reiff over Richardson if they think Richardson is as good as advertised though. The Rams will likely need another #1RB sooner than any of us hope and he wouldn't be a wasted pick. You can't pass that much upside for need when you're in the Rams position.
Wise Man Says 03-23-2012 02:12 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
15     16

As for the Richardson issue, if he's there at #6 I think there are multiple good choices. I agree with you that good RB are a dime a dozen (and often don't come from really high draft picks), but if the Rams feel he's as good as hyped (some say best since AP) and SJAX 2 years off the notorious RB 30, it would be hard to pass up. And hopefully the Rams won't be picking high enough for years to come to get the next guy with so much potential. And lucking out in later rounds is still a gamble.

At the same time, they don't NEED a RB now and they do need other positions that could make an immediate impact. If Richardson's hype stays high, he'd be the last of this draft's 6 top tier players and that pick would have good value. If the Rams traded down to get more picks, I wouldn't be upset (think something like move down in the 1st and give up 2012 4th, or maybe 3rd, to get another 1st. in 2013).

Best case scenario might be Vikes being serious about the claiborne talks (don't think they are) and then Kalil would likely slip to the Rams (bucs & browns don't need LT). Then try to get jeffery by taking him #33 or moving back into mid/late 1st, depending on where he projects by draft time.
Wise Man Says 03-23-2012 01:51 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
20     15

I get what you're saying STLSuperman. A high powered off. can put the def. on the field almost as much as a bad offense, resulting in them getting some extra yards and points put against them. But the Saints defense, as a whole, just wasn't spectacular and the pats def. was notoriously bad this season (though they did improve), so I wouldn't hold them up as an example.

Can you name me one Gregg Williams def. that was ever ranked/considered even in the top half of the league? I think the real thing Williams should have to explain to future employers is how he did bountygate and still never produced a really good def.
STLSuperman 03-22-2012 10:13 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.189 (total posts: 6)
10     8

I disagree with the Trent Richardson pick. Quality RB's are a dime a dozen and WR and the O line are a much higher priority.

Wise Man I'm gonna disagree with the Gregg Williams theory. I think he was a great hire. He was subject to the casualty of being a D Coord for an explosive offensive team. Just like this year, the 31st and 32nd ranked defenses were the Pats and Packers. He had an explosive offensive team in the Saints ranked pretty decent defensively. My opinion of course.
party pat 03-22-2012 12:59 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.119 (total posts: 6)
12     9

honestly i can only see trent richardson falling to the rams and you can't complain about it because he is trent richardson you know exactly what you are getting he doesn't fill a need as high as o line or receiver but after the obvious 1st 3 picks luck griffin kalil the browns will settle for blackmon the buccaneers will take claiborne then richardson is the only one left if we don't take him then we need to trade back but if we do take him it will make the receiver position slide more into the 2nd round giving us a shot at stephen hill or rueben randle at 33rd overall not bad choices either and with all the free agent wide outs going so fast teams won't reach for receivers in the 1st ex) bears or 49ers
ramsfan 03-22-2012 05:43 am xxx.xxx.xxx.132 (total posts: 1)
14     8

rams should draft trent richardson he and #39 could be an awesome 1 2 punch. alshon jeffery is the way to go in the 2 round. blackmon isnt calvin johnson he should go that high in the draft.
Wise Man Says 03-22-2012 12:12 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
13     14

I won't go into another long rant to explain it, but I really want to see the Rams land Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina) in the draft, one way or another. I think he might even be the guy the Rams need more than Blackmon is (not saying pick AJ at #6). They could really use his size, skill and big reliable hands (10 1/4"). That's assuming he has solid pro day and doesn't show any cause for concern.
Wise Man Says 03-22-2012 12:05 am xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
12     14

STL Mike, I wouldn't be upset about the Lloyd signing. That contract is mind bogglingly low and it's clear money was not the main factor in his choice. He wanted to follow McDaniels, have Brady throwing to him and be a #1 on a contender. Rams had zero chance. I do agree the Rams have to get a legit, good sized, #1WR or continue to fail miserably. I've been saying it for years. But I don't hold it against the team for not getting a FA WR. There weren't many possibilities:

- Stevie Johnson & Colston: re-signed with their teams early on.
- Bowe & Wallace: franchised/tendered
- Lloyd and VJax clearly weren't interested in playing for the Rams

- Wayne: resigned with Indy for what seems like a bit of a hometown discount & everyone thought he was holding out for Peyton's decision before he did that.

- Manningham: was the Rams best bet (and I believe they made a move for him), but he's likely a good #2 at best. No speculation on how big a role the money plays here, but if SF wants you or the rams do, odds are you're going SF
A D 03-20-2012 10:08 am xxx.xxx.xxx6.16 (total posts: 1)
14     24

if the rams don't get blackmon to fall to them... they take richardson and move jackson to pass catching/power fullback or a reserve running back
stl mike 03-17-2012 10:08 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.232 (total posts: 3)
25     19

WTF Rams... Lloyd 3 yrs 12M and we couldnt give 3 yrs 15 or so? And why the f*%k do we still have Jason Smith on our roster about to make 10M next year when Grubbs only got 7M? are we really going to leave smith outside for another year?because i would rather pay Grubbs 7M to know what I am getting at Left gaurd rather then pay Smith 10M to hope he pans out. Great signing in Finnegan, Wells, and Langford but if we missed out on an elite gaurd and keeping our best receiver to keep a bum like Smith than this management is going to be the same old s*%t!!!
Wise Man Says 03-05-2012 08:11 pm xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
16     12

Oh and I think Gregg Williams should get suspended for the whole season. Not b/c I think what he did was so wrong, but b/c I think he was a bad hire. Getting him as DC from the Saints (great OFF, poor DEF) and Schottenheimer as OC from the Jets (poor OFF, great DEF) is like trying to build a great basketball player from other great players by adding Shaq's shooting ability with Steve Nash's dunking ability. It's like creating a mega drug by making a pill that gives you all of the side of effects of 2 pills and none of the benefits. But I am excited at the addition of Snead as GM. Looking at Atlanta's roster, I think he's got a good eye for talent. On the fence about Fisher. I think he's good but not as good as his reputation.
Wise Man Says 03-03-2012 09:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx8.18 (total posts: 25)
14     11

ALL that being said (and I know it's a lot, sorry), if the Rams end up not trading the pick for some reason, it'd be hard for me to say go Blackmon over Kalil. The Rams don't need an OL upgrade as much as WR, but Kalil is supposed to be great (like an LT that only comes around once every so ofen good not just a top player in this draft) and a superstar LT is a game changer. No Rams fan will ever forget the name Orlando Pace and the effect he had on this team. There's still time till the draft but Kalil wouldn't be like Jason Smith at #2 overall. Smith wasn't even really the "consensus" #1 LT until a couple weeks before the draft, and at least part of that seemed, even then, like him just benefiting more from the hype machine than the other OL.

And just so it's said, if the coaches who have experience and watch the players practice daily come to the conclusion linemen like Brown and Dahl won't get back to the players they were on their past teams, Jason Smith just can't cut it anywhere, or whatever else, OL moves gain importance. I'm just saying I think there's talent on the roster and as a result of things out of their control these guys might not be playing to their potential. What the OL might need more than anything is luck in staying healthy and a coaching staff that can tap into that potential





2012 NFL Draft Grade: C+

Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft: The Rams have tons of holes and a young quarterback with a terrible supporting cast. Jeff Fisher must help Sam Bradford to prevent the Oklahoma product from becoming the next David Carr. I've seen some mocks project Fletcher Cox to St. Louis at No. 6 overall, but selecting a defensive tackle over Justin Blackmon would be disastrous.

2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Oops. In all fairness, the Rams did want Blackmon; Jeff Fisher reportedly slammed his glasses on the table when the Jaguars traded up to obtain the Oklahoma State wideout. Fisher then understandably traded all the way down to No. 14, picking up a second-round pick in the process.

So, that was nice - until Michael Floyd went off the board one selection earlier, perhaps predictably to Arizona. The Rams should have moved ahead of the Cardinals to secure Floyd, but they apparently had their mind set on Michael Brockers, which is a bit curious. Brockers offers very limited pass-rushing skills. That is troubling for a top-15 pick. St. Louis fans are used to bust defensive tackles, and considering Brockers' inexperience and lacking ability to get to the quarterback, he could easily be the next Jimmy Kennedy or Adam Carriker.

On the bright side, the Rams were able to land two promising receivers in Brian Quick and Chris Givens. Isaiah Pead could be a worthy successor for Steven Jackson. And I like the Janoris Jenkins gamble. He's so talented that he's well worth the risk, considering that St. Louis had three second-round choices at its disposal.

Bradford has to be happy about the new targets. He can't, however, be pleased that the Rams failed to improve the offensive line. They added a blocker at No. 150, which was way too late.



2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

14. Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: C Grade
There's nothing like picking a raw prospect and screwing over your franchise quarterback in the span of an hour. I don't quite get why the Rams wouldn't help out Sam Bradford with David DeCastro or Riley Reiff, or perhaps jumping the Cardinals to obtain Michael Floyd, but maybe they have some sort of plan with their three second-rounders. The move down is what keeps this from being a D.

33. Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State: C+ Grade
The Rams really needed a receiver, so this was a very logical pick. Some really question whether Brian Quick can play right away because he's so raw, so I'm sure Sam Bradford wanted someone more pro-ready. Quick does possess great upside, however.

39. Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: A- Grade
I really like this pick. Janoris Jenkins is unbelievably talented - if he were clean, he would have been a top-10 pick - but he's a major bust risk. The Rams, however, had three second-round picks, so they could afford to take the risk. If Jenkins stays clean, he and Cortland Finnegan will combine for one of the league's top cornerback tandems.

50. Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati: C+ Grade
Isaiah Pead with Lamar Miller and LaMichael James on the board? I'm not so sure about this. Pead is a bit of a reach - he was No. 68 on the consensus draft board - but he fills a need, so it at least makes sense in that regard.

65. Trumaine Johnson, CB/S, Montana: A Grade
Trumaine Johnson is decent value atop Round 3, as he was No. 53 on the consensus big board. The Rams needed depth in the secondary entering the 2012 NFL Draft, so I can understand this pick.

96. Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest: A Grade
This is a really good pick. Chris Givens could have easily gone atop the third round. He also fills a need, as the Rams absolutely had to find two receivers to help Sam Bradford.

150. Rokevious Watkins, G, South Carolina: C- Grade
I'm amazed the Rams waited this long to find some blocking for Sam Bradford. I knew they weren't in the tackle market, but still. At any rate, this is a reach. Scouts Inc. had him ranked highest (200).

171. Greg Zuerlein, K, Missouri Western: C Grade
Is Greg Zuerlein going to beat out Josh Brown? Brown is coming off a down year (21-of-28), so maybe the Rams think he can.

209. Aaron Brown, OLB, Hawaii: C Grade
Aaron Brown was No. 718 on the consensus big board, but there's no such thing as a reach in Round 7. It's shocking that the Rams didn't go with a linebacker earlier than this.

252. Daryl Richardson, RB, Abilene Christian: B Grade
Another running back for the Rams, who are thin at this spot. Daryl Richardson was a borderline draftable prospect going into the 2012 NFL Draft, and that held true.



Season Summary:
The Rams came within one win against the Seahawks from being in the playoffs in 2010. A lot can change in a year. Steve Spagnuolo is gone, the front office was axed, and Sam Bradford is now being discussed by the media as a candidate for trade or release so St. Louis can move forward with Robert Griffin. Bradford will remain the Rams' starter, but he really needs to make progress this upcoming season. Of course, it would help if new management can actually put talent around him.




Offseason Moves:
  • Rams sign OLB Rocky McIntosh
  • Rams sign OLB Mario Haggan
  • Rams sign OT Barry Richardson
  • Buccaneers sign DT Gary Gibson
  • Jets sign K Josh Brown
  • Rams cut K Josh Brown
  • Redskins sign LB Bryan Kehl
  • Rams re-sign QB Kellen Clemens
  • Rams sign DT Trevor Laws
  • Broncos sign DT Justin Bannan
  • Bengals sign G Jacob Bell
  • Rams sign DE William Hayes
  • Rams sign OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar
  • Texans sign P Donnie Jones
  • Rams announce retirement of WR Torry Holt
  • Rams sign WR Steve Smith
  • Rams sign TE Matthew Mulligan
  • Rams re-sign FB Brit Miller
  • Saints sign OLB Chris Chamberlain
  • Rams sign G Quinn Ojinnaka
  • Patriots sign WR Brandon Lloyd
  • Rams sign DT Kendall Langford
  • Rams sign C Scott Wells
  • Rams sign CB Cortland Finnegan
  • Rams cut DE James Hall
  • Rams cut CB Ronald Bartell
  • Rams cut C Jason Brown
  • Rams cut DT Fred Robbins
  • Rams cut DT Justin Bannan
  • Rams tender WR Danny Amendola


    Offseason Needs:
    1. Two Tackles or Left Tackle & Left Guard: Left tackle is St. Louis' greatest need. Rodger Saffold is overmatched on the blind side, so he needs to move over to left guard or right tackle, which is why I have a conditional listed. Jason Smith, meanwhile, is garbage. A new front office could cut ties with him because he's owed $10 million in 2012. If the Rams don't upgrade this position this offseason, they'll risk Sam Bradford turning into David Carr. Luckily, Matt Kalil will be sitting there at No. 2 in the 2012 NFL Draft. He's locked in as the pick barring a trade. Signed Barry Richardson

    2. Two Wide Receivers: Brandon Lloyd has declared that he will be following Josh McDaniels this offseason. If the two leave, the Rams will need a pair of wideouts to help Sam Bradford, who has nothing to work with. Tendered Danny Amendola; signed Steve Smith; drafted Brian Quick and Chris Givens

    3. Two Defensive Tackles: Fred Robbins and Justin Bannan were cut this offseason. The Rams need two new starters here unless they want to give Darell Scott a chance. They'll be able to take one with a second-round pick. Signed Kendall Langford and Trevor Laws; drafted Michael Brockers

    4. Center: Jason Brown was owed $5 million in 2012, which would explain his release. He sucked anyway. Signed Scott Wells

    5. Two Outside Linebackers: Brady Poppinga was awful at strongside linebacker last year. Weakside backer Chris Chamberlain was OK, but he can be upgraded. They're both free agents anyway. Signed Rocky McIntosh, Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Mario Haggan

    6. Free Safety: Darian Stewart did a terrible job at safety this past season. The Rams can do better than a third-year undrafted free agent. Drafted Trumaine Johnson

    7. Cornerback: The Rams infamously had 10 cornerbacks on injured reserve in 2011, but they needed help at the position even before everyone started getting hurt. Signed Cortland Finnegan; drafted Janoris Jenkins

    8. Defensive End Depth: St. Louis jettisoned James Hall, so Jeff Fisher will have to replenish depth. Signed William Hayes

    9. Running Back: Steven Jackson doesn't have much left in the tank, given that he passed 2,100 career carries this year. The Rams may look for a possible successor in Rounds 2-4 of the 2012 NFL Draft. Drafted Isaiah Pead

    10. Fullback: Brit Miller is ineffective and injury-prone. He can be upgraded. Re-signed Brit Miller







    2012 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Scott Wells, C, Packers. Age: 31.
      Signed with Rams

      Scott Wells is one of the top centers in the NFL. He excels in all areas, and is due for a big contract.

    2. Cortland Finnegan, CB, Titans. Age: 28.
      Signed with Rams (5 years, $50 million)

      Cortland Finnegan is a really good cornerback unless he has to cover Andre Johnson. He's expected to reunite with Jeff Fisher in St. Louis.

    3. Kendall Langford, DE/DT, Dolphins. Age: 26.
      Signed with Rams (4 years, $24 million; $12 million guaranteed)

      Kendall Langford is a really good, young five-tech who excels in both stopping the run and putting pressure on the quarterback. He's a key piece of Miami's 3-4 stop unit who will have to be retained.

    4. Rocky McIntosh, OLB, Redskins. Age: 29.
      Signed with Rams

      I called Rocky McIntosh an idiot for re-signing with the Redskins last offseason. He's not a good fit in the 3-4. I don't get how he didn't understand that. Maybe he'll learn his lesson and sign on with a 4-3 team.

    5. William Hayes, DE, Titans. Age: 27. -- Signed with Rams (1 year)
    6. Barry Richardson, OT, Chiefs. Age: 26. -- Signed with Rams
    7. Mario Haggan, OLB, Broncos. Age: 32. -- Signed with Rams
    8. Jo-Lonn Dunbar, OLB, Saints. Age: 27. -- Signed with Rams
    9. Trevor Laws, DT, Eagles. Age: 27. -- Signed with Rams
    10. Steve Smith, WR, Eagles. Age: 27. -- Signed with Rams
    11. Matthew Mulligan, TE, Jets. Age: 27. -- Signed with Rams



    St. Louis Rams Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Rams. Age: 31.
      Signed with Patriots

      A legitimate No. 1 receiver, Brandon Lloyd has announced that he'll follow Josh McDaniels wherever he goes. That's a smart football decision, as Lloyd has thrived under McDaniels the past two seasons.

    2. Josh Brown, K, Rams. Age: 33.
      Signed with Jets

      Cut one day prior to his 33rd birthday, Josh Brown went just 21-of-28 last year, but is only one season removed from hitting 33-of-39 attempts.

    3. Donnie Jones, P, Rams. Age: 32.
      Signed with Texans

      Donnie Jones averaged 44 yards per punt with more than a quarter of his tries going inside the 20.

    4. Danny Amendola (RFA), WR, Rams. Age: 26.
      Tendered by Rams (2nd)

      Sam Bradford's favorite receiver, Danny Amendola missed most of 2011 because of torn triceps. He'll bounce back as a solid slot receiver next year.

    5. Ronald Bartell, CB, Rams. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders (1 year, $3 million)

      Ronald Bartell can be a decent cornerback when healthy, but he missed all but one game last year with a neck injury. He's a health risk, but he's been cleared by the doctors. He's worth a shot.

    6. Jason Brown, C/G, Rams. Age: 29.
      Jason Brown was considered a top-tier free agent center in 2009 when he signed a 5-year, $37.5 million deal with the Rams. But like most players who go from a good team to an inferior organization solely for the money, Brown's performance really dropped off. He was benched last season. He's still young enough to turn his career around though, so he might be worth signing to an incentive-laden contract.

    7. Justin Bannan, DE/DT, Rams. Age: 33.
      Signed with Broncos (1 year)

      Justin Bannan is very effective versus the rush, but he can't get to the quarterback whatsoever. He can play in any scheme.

    8. Chris Chamberlain, OLB, Rams. Age: 26.
      Signed with Saints (3 years)

      Chris Chamberlain is a special teams ace and a solid reserve/two-down spot starter at linebacker. He plays well against the run, but gets lost in coverage.

    9. James Hall, DE, Rams. Age: 35.
      James Hall notched six sacks in 2011. He can still get to the quarterback, but his age is an obvious concern.

    10. Fred Robbins, DT, Rams. Age: 35.
      Fred Robbins has no pass-rushing ability, but he can still stop the run pretty well.

    11. Jacob Bell, G, Rams. Age: 31.
      Announced retirement

      Jacob Bell, base-born in Philadelphia, was having a rough year before landing on injured reserve with a sprained MCL. His best seasons are well behind him.

    12. Gary Gibson, DT, Rams. Age: 30. -- Signed with Buccaneers (2 years, $2 million)
    13. Brady Poppinga, OLB, Rams. Age: 32.
    14. Mark Clayton, WR, Rams. Age: 30.
    15. Cadillac Williams, RB, Rams. Age: 30.
    16. Adam Goldberg, G, Rams. Age: 32.
    17. Brit Miller (RFA), FB, Rams. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Rams
    18. Kellen Clemens, QB, Rams. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Rams (1 year)
    19. Rod Hood, CB, Rams. Age: 30.
    20. Tony Wragge, G/C, Rams. Age: 33. -- Signed with Ravens
    21. Justin King, CB, Rams. Age: 25. -- Signed with Colts
    22. A.J. Feeley, QB, Rams. Age: 35.
    23. C.J. Ah You, DE, Rams. Age: 30.
    24. Bryan Kehl, OLB, Rams. Age: 28. -- Signed with Redskins
    25. Jerious Norwood, RB, Rams. Age: 29.
    26. Billy Bajema, TE, Rams. Age: 29.


    2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon



    Divisional Rival History:
    Arizona Cardinals: Arizona has won 10 of the past 11 matchups in this series.
    San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco has claimed 11 of the previous 13 battles in this NFC West rivalry.
    Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have won all but one of the 14 matchups after the Rams knocked them out of the playoffs in 2004.



    Features to be Posted This Offseason:
    1. 2012 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
    2. Detailed season preview
    3. Fantasy football projections
    4. Positional rankings
    5. Daily updates on free-agent signings


    More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:

    DAL / NYG / PHI / WAS /
    CHI / DET / GB / MIN /
    ATL / CAR / NO / TB /
    ARZ / SEA / SF / STL /
    BUF / MIA / NE / NYJ /
    BAL / CIN / CLE / PIT /
    HOU / IND / JAX / TEN /
    DEN / KC / OAK / SD /




    2012 NFL Offseason Pages


    Fantasy Football Rankings - July 31


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents


    NFL Picks - Feb. 2



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