Courtesy of TST reader Big Red, we glean this tidbit of info from the Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz on Feb. 10: "It's too early to make a prediction, but the Rams will look hard at taking a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft."
That makes things interesting as potential free agent solutions to Rams D-line problems fall off the board thanks to plenty of cash among the NFL teams and a shortage of quality talent on the free agent market. If the Rams take a WR with their 13th overall pick, then D-line help is likely to come in rounds two and three, where talent is currently hard to differentiate. I suspect the free agent market will force some choices in the Rams' draft strategy.
Might want to take Bengals and former Mizzou DE Justin Smith off the list of Rams free agent possibilities. Rumors from Profootballtalk.com have the Bengals slapping him with the franchise tag. How believable is this? Who knows. I seem to recall some disenchantment with the Mizzou product in fan circles, and less than rave reviews. Smith specializes in stopping the run, and doesn't seem the logical fit for a franchise tag. He had 7.5 sacks last season, and has averaged about 7 each year. Nothing's a given, according to the report, as Smith is seeking a long term deal.
Speaking of free agent spending, the San Francisco 49ers have the most cap room of any NFL team with $38 million to spend. This could be a really interesting offseason for the NFC West. The Niners have a good young team, as we know, and like the Rams, a few additions here and there could make them really competitive. My pre-pre-pre-season picks for the NFC West go like this: Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals. It's still a little too early for picks though.
Trades, how about some trades? Trades could give the Rams one option for upgrading their roster, but the question we need to ask ourselves is just who exactly they would trade? Think on this and post thoughts below or in the diaries. We'll have some more trade related posts in the coming week.