By Rams Nation's Don Ackerman
The Rams have lost players early and quickly: RT John St. Clair (Dolphins
2-year, $2.6 million), DE Grant Wistrom (Seahawks 6-year, $33 million, $14 signing)
and DT Brian Young (Saints 4-year, $10+ million, $4 signing). They also lost
out on free agents like ex-Charger DE Marcellus Wiley (Cowboys 4-year, $16 million,
But Rams Park is not exit only these says. The Rams matched offers on CB Jerametrius Butler (6-year, $15 million) and TE Brandon Manumaleuna (5-year, $8.3 million). They are also expected to match any upcoming offers on restricted free agent Marc Bulger.
Thus far, the Rams are moving and watching. Personally, I'm optimistic and hopeful. I'm waiting...
Last night, a beacon of light turned on. In the cap-conscious NFL, suddenly 31 teams had some great new options. According to ESPN.com, some past great players are suddenly available. In one day's transactions, the list is pretty impressive:
Buccaneers released 5-time Pro Bowl safety John Lynch.
Steelers released their starting RB Amos Zereoue.
Panthers released a starting offensive lineman Todd Steussie (a 10-year veteran)
These moves are strictly motivated by money and the value of the player to the organization. As a Rams fan, I'm terribly enthused by these moves. Though the Rams are cash-strapped and just under the league's $80.6 million salary cap, some of these guys are unemployed. I'm hoping some are lured by the prospect of putting Saint Louis over the hump and have dreams of leading their team to a Super Bowl. Will they play for league minimum to be a Ram? We'll see!
Being a contender for many years now, the Rams are almost there and legitimately have a shot at the Ring each year. A veteran player has to know this. I'm hoping John Lynch takes a long look at the success of Aeneas Williams (but doesn't talk to Kim Herring) and wonders....
So don't panic yet! The sky is not falling. What you are hearing is some early free agency shots. Hunting season has just begun and there's plenty of hunting for everyone.
I'm optimistic as ever!
Don, the Rams Nation columnist can be contacted at Don@RamsNation.org.