Jeremy Shockey, like O.J. Atogwe, was another recent casualty as teams looked to shed expensive salaries. It's being reported today that Shockey took a physical for an interested team. Could that team be the St. Louis Rams?
I doubt it. The four pillars test might be a stretch for Shockey, not to mention his lengthy injury history of late. This report from Rotoworld guesses that it might be the Carolina Panthers, where Shockey has a coaching connection. Of course, there's a connection with the Rams too; Spagnuolo and Shockey crossed paths in 2007 with the New York Giants.
Shockey caught 41 passes for 408 yards and 3 TDs last year, career lows. However, those 41 catches came on just 59 targets, a catch rate of 69 percent. He has some usefulness left, even though he'll be 31 for the 2011 season. Plus, he can block.
In all honesty, Shockey might be a good get for the Rams, if the coaches think they can keep his personality from becoming a distraction. Daniel Fells is scheduled for free agency, and it seems unlikely the Rams would bring him back, in a normal year anyway, given his inconsistency when given the chance to be a bigger part of the plans in 2010. That leaves just three tight ends on the roster: Michael Hoomanawanui, Fendi Onobun and Billy Bajema. Hoomanawanui will be the starter and Bajema is a reliable role player as a blocker. Onobun is expected to take steps forward this year, but just how far he progresses remains to be seen. Shockey isn't exactly a difference maker anymore, but he could be a useful, experienced guy to have as something of an insurance policy if the young guys struggle or are beset with injuries.