We've got some more clarification on the Rod Hood news and a few notes from OTAs to parse this morning. Let's jump right in.
The PD finally clears up the reports from earlier this week that the Rams have offered former Arizona CB Rod Hood a contract. Rather than an actual contract offer, the Rams cap man, Kevin Demoff laid out the possibilities for a contract based on the Rams available cap room, which isn't much space. Once again, ProFootballTalk.com put accuracy second.
The PD's Rams beat reporter Jim Thomas was on ESPN 101 yesterday to discuss the team and mentioned that Hood "makes all sense in the world" for the Rams. Here's the audio from Thomas' appearance.
Hood would almost be certain to start with the Rams, rather than be forced into a reserve role where he wasn't happy in Arizona. Hood has plenty of starting experience, more so than our most experienced players after Bartell, Tye Hill and Jonathan Wade. Hood also fits with the team's rebuilding process, he's a young corner (at 27, he's the same age as Bartell) with plenty of years left on his legs, slightly shorter but built similar to the Rams third round draft pick, Bradley Fletcher. With Fletcher on board, the Rams younger corners, Justin King and Fletcher, could have some time to develop and grow into starting roles, pushing Hood after a season or two. Don't confuse Hood with Champ Bailey or anything and there are plenty of other teams in the league where he'd be a third guy, but for the 2009 Rams he makes a great fit.
The player that would be most affected by the Hood signing is Tye Hill, but it wouldn't exactly mean the end of his playing time. Hill would be the odds on favorite for the nickel role, where he could establish some consistency after missing the better part of the last two seasons. Hill's contract expires after the 2010 season, and under the current rules without the CBA in place, he'd be a restricted free agent at that point, giving the Rams the flexibility to hang on to him if he starts to live up to his potential. Reports from OTAs this week speak highly of Hill. From Bill Coats:
[Hill] continues to impress in coverage drills, and his confidence appears to be growing.
That's good news for the Rams, but remember the players don't even have pads on this week for OTAs. The real test comes when the hitting starts.
Other reports of note from OTAs...
- WR Keenan Burton sat out with a sore hamstring. That's not uncommon this time of year, after resting some since the end of the season, but Burton has to stay healthy this season to become a contributor.
- That would be great if the Rams have found a reliable backup in undrafted rookie free agent Phil Trautwein. Like CBs, you can never have enough quality linemen.
- Nick Wagoner has a profile of WR Tim Carter, businessman, philanthropist and football player.