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St.Louis Rams--Monitoring Team Needs--Free Agency to the 2009 Draft

 Keeping track of a team's dynamic roster gain/loss throughout the offseason is one of the keys to understanding their draft day moves and choices.  Enter Monitoring Team Needs, an at-a-glance way of checking up on your team's latest roster flux, as we count down through Free Agency, and into the days before the 2009 Draft.

Below is a table that breaks down this roster flux, showing who has come and gone, as well as updating the neediest areas of the team and some of the top names that have a good chance of being available when they pick in the Draft.  Draft prospects are linked to their Mocking the Draft Profiles and any names or positions highlighted in bold should be considered either to be positions of particular need and emphasis, or players of particular relevance and interest to the team's situation.  Below the chart we will discuss some of the names and situations described, and as always, you can join in on the discussion in the comments.

See you below the fold!

ST LOUIS RAMS

2008 Record and Rank:  2-14

4th place

Team Needs Likely Draft Targets (rd)
OT, CB, ILB, OLB, QB, C, OG, DT, TE, SS, WR

OT, Eugene Monroe,Virginia(1st)

OLB Aaron Curry, WF (1st)

Free Agents Acquired Current Free Agents Free Agents/Players Lost

QB Brock Berlin (unknown)

WR Matt Caddell (res/fut)

WR Travis Brown (res/fut)

DL Willie X. Williams(res/fut)

WR Nate Jones(res/fut)

DL C.J. Ah You(res/fut)

FS Jimmy F. Williams(res/fut)

WR Joe Filani(Res/Fut)

LB Quint Culberson (unknown)

RB Travis Minor UFA

RB Samkon Gado UFA

FB Richard Owens UFA

WR Dante' Hall UFA

WR Dane Looker UFA

TE Dominique Byrd RFA

OG Richie Incognito UFA*(tendered)

OG Mark Setterstrom RFA

OT Adam Goldberg UFA

OT Anthony Davis UFA

OT Brandon Gorin UFA

OT Rob Petitti UFA

C Nick Leckey UFA

 C Corey Withrow UFA

C Brett Romberg UFA

 DL Victor Adeyanju RFA*(tendered)

DL La'Roi Glover UFA

DL Eric M. Moore UFA

LB Gary Stills UFA

FA Oshiomogho Atogwe UFA*(franchised)

CB Ron Bartell UFA

CB Fakhir Brown UFA

CB Jason Craft UFA

CB Ricky Manning Jr.  UFA

 

QB Trent Green (cut)

WR Drew Bennett (cut)

SS Corey Chavous (cut)

 

  • A ton of the UFAs in the above list are just going to be gone in 2009.  It is too many to list them out individually, but one of the key guys who may not get a lot of face time is OG/OT Adam Goldberg.  He is amazingly versatile, having played four different positions on the line, and he would be a lot of value at likely a small price.  The Rams probably won't let him languish in free agency for very long before locking him up with a nice, team-friendly contract.
  • In a relatively weak CB market, the Rams may be willing to say goodbye to CB Ron Bartell.  Bartell has been listed as a top free agent at the position, and no doubt he was one of the few bright spots for the Rams, but this situation reeks of bad cap-onomics.  With Al Davis attempting to sabotage the CB market with his unbalanced contract to Nmamdi, Bartell will be in a situation where the price ceiling has been raised, multiple teams are battling over limited resources, and he showed consistent production in '08, so every indication is that he will be overpaid, and that he will be somewhere else in 2009.
  • The OG Mark Setterstrom Project should finally see some resolution in the coming days.  A team can only wait so long for potential to come through.  After only two games in three seasons due to knee injuries, the Rams need to decide what tender to put on the RFA, which in turn should say a lot about how they view him for the future.  My money is on a very low tender, and no takers.  2009 needs to be a great year for Mark, because you can bet that the Rams are eyeing a prospect or two in the draft, such Herman Johnson, Louisiana State.  [As of the start of Free agency the Rams have declined to tender an offer to Stetterstrom, but have stated they are interested in resigning him....]
  • The Rams need to be serious players for a free agent safety.  With SS Gibril Wilson off the table, maybe the next best place to look is SS James Butler.  The Giants haven't been aggressive in trying to re-sign him, and they are letting him slip into the free agency period.  Paired with  Atogwe, the run-stuffer could help make the big plays a thing of the past.
  • DE Victor Adeyanju and OG Richie Ingonito were tendered before free agency got underway.  Any teams hoping to sign away Adeyanju will need to part with a fourth rounder, and anyone who wants to look at Cogs is going to have to part with a third.  Both are defintiley worth keeping, for the Rams, Victor for his runstopping ability, Cogs for his run-blocking.  Its hard to go wrong securing trench players in free agency.