While the Rams negotiate with C Jason Brown, there are a few other free agent items to discuss. None of them are on the marquee level with Brown, but could be important moves nonetheless. So, what about these reports of the Rams interested in some wide receivers and a tight end?
According to this report, the Rams are interested in Pittsburgh WR Nate Washington, Tennessee WR Brandon Jones, and 49ers TE Billy Bajema.
Bajema's a blocking specialist, the same thing the Rams brought in Anthony Becht for last season. Becht, 32 for the 2009 season, seems to have lost a step, and someone like Bajema would make the Rams roster younger. This would probably mean the Rams cut Becht. Cost-wise, this move would be a push. Bajema would likely make around $1 million, same as Becht.
The team's interest in Washington might reveal something about their plans on offense. Like Avery, Washington's a speedy, deep threat. Of his 40 receptions last season, 11 were for 20 yards or more, 4 for more than 40 yards, and his longest was a 65-yard TD catch against the Giants in week 8. With Washington and Avery on the roster, the Rams would be able to keep d-backs deep, run more draws and screens, and create mismatches downfield favoring one of the WRs. Don't fall in love with the idea, reports say that the Lions won't let Washington leave Detroit without a contract.
So that brings us to Brandon Jones. Jones had career highs in receptions (41) and yards (449) with the Titans this season, finally looking like he'd put it together after three seasons of frustrating inconsistency. He had the third most catches of any Titans, after their RB and TE, and the third most yards after a TE and WR Justin Gage. Jones isn't a deep threat, but he has great size for a WR at 6'1" 212 lbs. He's a decent route runner who looked like he had good hands last season, and could be the kind of sneaky free agent signing the Rams are looking for at WR. Another young guy, Jones would be part of the recipe for making the Rams younger and give the Rams an extra WR to fill the hole (well, kind of) sure to be left by the immanent departure of Torry Holt. The 49ers are courting Jones, and he's visiting them today.