The St. Louis Rams will most certainly be looking for a new running back to share carries with Steven Jackson in 2011...if there is a 2011 season. RB Kenneth Darby did not receive an RFA tender from the team. Besides Darby, the Rams also declined to extend offers to CB Quincy Butler and LB Curtis Johnson.
None of this comes as a big surprise. We've known for some time that the Rams want to find another solution to backup SJ39, if not create a running back committee situation, as is the trend in the NFL these days. One criticism of the Rams this year was that Darby took away carries from Steven Jackson, particularly on third down. Darby was a decent pass blocker and acceptable in the screen game, but he wasn't a good third down back. Jackson's pretty good at catching the ball too in case you hadn't noticed.
Running backs have been high on the Rams priority list through draft prep season. Between the Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl and the Combine, they've spoken with such players as Noel Devine, Kendall Hunter, DeMarco Murray, Derrick Locke, etc. All of those backs profile as speedy outside runners and pass catchers to complement Steven Jackson.
Other players who did receive tenders that we mentioned yesterday Daniel Fells, John Greco, Gary Gibson, David Vobora and Chris Chamberlain. Other players who received an offer include: WR Laurent Robinson, OT Renardo Foster, and CB Justin King.
Fells, Gibson and Robinson will likely end up as free agents anyway if the CBA reverts to the four-year rule.
Exclusive rights free agents Danny Amendola, Larry Grant and C.J. Ah You also were tendered.
Not excited about some of those players back on the roster? Don't panic. These are mostly just precautionary moves that look a little different because of the CBA uncertainty.