The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 19, and while it's not typically infused with the flurry of activity that marks pro baseball's trade deadline, it's always good a for a little news. One question on the minds of many is whether or not the St. Louis Rams will be active, seeking a replacement for wide receiver Mark Clayton...who was a replacement for Donnie Avery.
Will Rams GM Billy Devaney be looking to make something happen? Should he?
It's not out of the question that the Rams would be looking to make a move. Devaney pursued San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson, ultimately coming up short because of the Chargers' inflexibility on the asking price. Jackson could still be an option, depending on whether or not the San Diego front office has changed their willingness to talk turkey (unlikely) or whether the Rams would be willing to meet their asking price of a second round pick.
As far as what other "big ticket" receivers might be had via trade, it's tough to assess, i.e. I don't know of any.
Despite their 2-3 record, the Rams remain one game out of first place in a wide open NFC West, a division fraught with mediocrity. It's a division that the Rams look very capable of competing in right now, especially with the preseason favorite 49ers now sitting at 0-5.
Entertaining the notion of the Rams going further than division champs seems a little far fetched after yesterday, but this is a team that needs to reconnect with fans and sell tickets. Finding more talent to bolster the receiving corps would certainly help this team win games, right now. At the top, new owner Stan Kroenke has not been shy about his desire to make the Rams competitive, though he insists on doing so in a sensible manner, i.e. not like Dan Snyder. Can Kroenke and the fans hold out another season when the Rams can use one more draft and a freer free agent checkbook to improve the roster? Or does waiting just one more year, with a looming labor battle, push back the rebuilding process to far?
Maybe it's the taste of winning a couple games and the potential to win more that makes the idea of a trade so attractive. A surge in talent, like another famous surge, could expedite the rebuilding process, if done right. This is a more difficult decision than when the Rams were first in the mix for Vincent Jackson.
It's more likely that the Rams will use a late round pick to acquire another receiver who isn't getting playing time with another team. The question with that is whether or not that move can bring them another Mark Clayton (established, capable of contributing) or a Brandon Gibson (talented, but raw and flawed). We'll find out soon enough.
UPDATE: Spagnuolo just wrapped his presser, with shed some light on the Rams receiving situation.
First, he'll get with Devaney to discuss trade and free agent options.
They're counting on TE Michael Hoomanawanui to be ready to go this week. If he is, that should help, giving Bradford a reliable option to move the chains.
Practice squad WR Danario Alexander is one option, though they'll take stock of his health before pressing him into action. Just how much Alexander can contribute right away remains to be seen, though I'm doubtful. The Rams have a number of talented youngsters on the roster already, Fendi Onobun and Mardy Gilyard (albeit different styles of players) who aren't being asked to contribute much just yet, despite their being on the active roster.