After releasing FS Oshiomogho Atogwe the St. Louis Rams have another big hold in the roster to fill. How they fill it will be a key offseason test for GM Billy Devaney and his staff. So what possibilities do the Rams have at their disposal? Suspend the troubling fact that without a new CBA there won't be free agency or football and let's explore.
First and foremost, they could re-sign Atogwe, a possibility floated by Atogwe himself in the hours since his release. Every year there seems to be a sizable turnover among NFL safeties. This year is no different. Numerous options might be available through free agency, depending on the CBA and whether or not team re-sign those players.
Free agent possibilities below the fold.
One player to keep an eye on is Eagles S Quintin Mikell. The Eagles signed Mikell as an undrafted free agent in 2003, during Spagnuolo's time coaching in Philly. Mikell wasn't a starter until 2007, but since then he's earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, in 2009. From the Eagles perspective, they probably can't afford to let him walk away, but his future with the team is unclear. Eagles fans, at least one, prefers to keep Mikell over Atogwe.
Another possibility is Ravens S Dawan Landry. According to this report, re-signing him is not a top priority for the Ravens. They have in-house options who could replace Landry and some other pending free agents who take priority over Landry.
Landry and Mikell are both strong safeties, but they're good enough in coverage to be considered, I would think, in Spagnuolo and Flajole's scheme that blurs the lines between free and strong safeties.
Michael Huff from Oakland could be a hot commodity on the safety market this year. Huff has said that he'd like to return to Oakland, but that might depend on just what kind of priority the Raiders put on re-signing Namdi Asomugha. Oakland already re-upped Richard Seymour.
Another Bay Area safety could be an option. 49ers S Dashon Goldson struggled with injuries last year and a schizophrenic 49ers defense. Poaching a player from a rival team is always a lark too. He had 4 INTs in 2009.
There's always the draft too, but as 3k said yesterday, the Rams can't hope to find a draft pick to fit every need.