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News » St. Louis Rams Strategy and Personnel 2009-04-10


St. Louis Rams Strategy and Personnel 2009-04-10


St. Louis Rams Strategy and Personnel 2009-04-10
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY


The Rams have made some key additions, but there were holes created with the release of tackle Orlando Pace, wide receivers Torry Holt and Drew Bennett, backup quarterback Trent Green and blocking tight end Anthony Becht.

The departures of Pace and Holt created $14 million in salary-cap space, which the Rams used some of for quarterback Kyle Boller. They also could possibly add depth at defensive tackle and running back. The draft could also be used for those spots, including wide receiver, where Laurent Robinson was acquired from the Falcons. They will need about $6 million in cap space for their draft picks.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo would like to get bigger on the defensive line, where the Rams ended 2008 without a nose tackle behind starter Clifton Ryan.

The draft could also be the place where the Rams find a back capable of taking over for Steven Jackson during games or if is injured, which has been the case the last two seasons.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Tackle: With left tackle Orlando Pace having been released and Alex Barron entering the final year of his contract, a revamping of the position is possible. In the short term, the Rams plan to move Barron from right tackle to left tackle, the position he played in college and for 15 games in 2007 when Pace was injured. That still leaves a void on the right side, where Adam Goldberg worked in the team's recent minicamp.

2. Wide receiver: With Torry Holt and Drew Bennett released, there is no real veteran presence at the position. Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton return for their second season, and it's possible the Rams could add a receiver in free agency while still going for another young player in the draft. They did add third-year pro Laurent Robinson in a trade with Atlanta.

3. Middle linebacker: Will Witherspoon is moving from the middle to the outside where it is believed he will be able to excel. For now, Chris Draft is the starter, but he is not a long-term answer. The Rams have been looking for excellence in the middle ever since London Fletcher left after the 2001 season.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: S Oshiomogho Atogwe: Tendered at $6.342M.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--CB Fakhir Brown was a favorite of former coach Jim Haslett, and is not expected to return.

--CB Jason Craft was acquired during the 2008 season and made some valuable contributions. Could be back at the right price.

--OT Anthony Davis didn't play after being signed during the season, but might be back to compete for depth.

--DT La'Roi Glover played with a bad knee for most of the second half of the season and is contemplating retirement.

--OT Brandon Gorin missed the entire 2008 season with a shoulder injury and is unlikely to return.

--WR/KR Dante Hall has experienced leg injuries the last two seasons, and his age is catching up to him.

--WR Dane Looker has always gotten the most out of his ability, but coaching change might means it's the end of the line for him.

--CB Ricky Manning played five games before going on injured reserve, but could compete for a spot if recovered from his injury.

--RB Travis Minor has contributed on special teams, but it seems to be a longshot that he'll be re-signed.

--OT Rob Petitti never made it to training camp after being injured in offseason workouts. Very unlikely to be back.

--LB Gary Stills added leadership to the special teams before being slowed by a knee injury. It's unknown how the new coaching staff views him.

--C Cory Withrow is another undersized lineman added to the roster because of injuries. Not expected to be re-signed.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--DE Victor Adeyanju (tendered at $1.01M with fourth-round pick as compensation) has showed steady progress in his three seasons, and he is needed for depth on the line.

--OG Richie Incognito (tendered at $1.01M with third-round pick as compensation) has ability, but has to curb his emotions during games. The question is whether he's worth a $1 million tender.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--CB Ron Bartell: UFA; $25M/4 yrs, $4.1M SB/$8.6M base guarantees; 2009 cap: $5.35M.

--QB Brock Berlin: Potential ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--LB Quinton Culberson: Potential ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--T/G Adam Goldberg: UFA; $1.52M/2 yrs, $100,000 SB; 2009 cap: $670,000.

--DE Eric Moore: UFA; terms unknown.

--OG Mark Setterstrom: Not tendered as RFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--TE Billy Bajema: UFA 49ers; terms unknown.

--QB Kyle Boller: UFA Ravens; $1.5M/1 yr.

--C Jason Brown: UFA Ravens; $37.5M/5 yrs, $11M SB/$9M base guarantees; 2009 cap: $6.2M.

--SS James Butler: UFA Giants; $12M/4 yrs, $1.075M SB; 2009 cap: $2.194M.

--S Craig Dahl: Not tendered as ERFA by Giants; terms unknown.

--FB Mike Karney: FA Saints; $3.5M/3 yrs, $275,000 SB/$225,000 RB; 2009 cap: $1.017M.

--WR Laurent Robinson (trade Falcons).

PLAYERS LOST

--TE Anthony Becht (released).

--WR Drew Bennett (released).

--S Corey Chavous (released).

--QB Trent Green (released/failed physical).

--WR Torry Holt (released).

--C Nick Leckey: UFA Saints; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--OT Orlando Pace (released).

--C Brett Romberg: UFA Falcons; terms unknown.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

Adam Carriker Name: Adam Carriker
#90
Position: NT
Age: 24
Experience: 2 years
College: Nebraska
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