Rams have offers out and visits scheduled with free agents

It's finally the first day of the league season, aka the day free agency opens up. It kind of feels like when you never thought Christmas morning would arrive only to wake up and realize that it was here. Well, here it is. There's lots happening, with nothing happening, as most signings will come a little later. Right now, teams are lining up visits with prospective free agents, and the Rams have a busy docket. Who are the Rams visiting with?

 

  • The most exciting name on the list is Ravens C Jason Brown, who'll be heading to St. Louis for a visit today. The Dolphins are now said to be out of the mix for Brown, possibly to use their free agent purse on big fish at other positions. 
  • Clayton says Brown wants $8 million per year...Faneca money. Yikes. 
  • Conflicting reports say Raven LB Bart Scott will visit St. Louis today and the Jets, with the Jets being the favorite, i.e. the Rex Ryan connection. [Note by VanRam, 02/27/09 10:38 AM EST ] Scott agreed to terms with the Jets. Not a huge surprise.
  • On the RB front, the Rams are said to be interested in Giants RB Derrick Ward as well as former Lions/Bears RB Kevin Jones.
  • The Rams (and Broncos) reportedly have made offers to 49ers DT Ronald Fields. In four years with the Niners, Fields has been a rotational run stopping NT. Which would be exactly what the Rams need. This could be an under-the-radar steal for the Rams.
  • Gaints SS James Butler will visit St. Louis today too, according to Peter King. We knew this was coming. Butler made some remarks awhile back about playing for Spagnuolo again, and this is a great fit for the Rams who could use a young SS to pair with Atogwe. 
  • A report at ProFootballTalk.com cites "league sources" who say that the Rams are in contract talks with Tampa Bay CB Philip Buchanon. He may not be a shut-down type of guy, but Buchanon's a proven starter.
  • And now for the not-so-exciting news...CB Ron Bartell will visit the Saints today. Bartell is the kind of player teams need to keep around, and the Rams are still negotiating with the CB. He's not going to come cheap, no matter who signs him. He's trying to get a contract for $7 million per year. 
  • In the Post-Disptach, Jim Thomas lists a few other names the Rams are said to be interested in, including: Pittsburgh WR Nate Washington, Tampa S Jermaine Phillips, Seattle FB Leonard Weaver (would be a great get), Green Bay DT Colin Cole (similar to Fields, but with more lbs and experience), Minnesota C Matt Birk, and Tennessee WR Brandon Jones. 
According to the same Jim Thomas article mentioned above, the Rams are expected have some of their free agents signed this weekend. That's not a big shocker as teams rush to get offers out to the best players in a competitive market, giving players their full menu of offers relatively quickly and allowing teams to get a handle on their budget going forward. The game will change as the day(s) goes by, other names will pop up on the Rams radar and others will fall off. We're also still waiting on decisions regarding Orlando Pace and Torry Holt, who still aren't expected to return to the Rams this season.

We'll roll this out as our official free agent open thread, as there's PLENTY here to discuss. Stay tuned throughout the day, TST will keep you updated with news and analysis of the moves as they happen.
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