Free agent rumblings: Quintin Mikell in play for the St. Louis Rams?

PHILADELPHIA PA - JANUARY 09: John Kuhn #30 of the Green Bay Packers fights for a fumble against Quintin Mikell #27 and Jamar Chaney #51 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9 2011 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Kuhn recovered the ball. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

If and when the NFL begins its free agency period, the St. Louis Rams could have a likely target in Eagles S Quintin Mikell. A report today says that the Philadelphia Eagles have "penciled in" second-round pick S Jaiquawn Jarrett as their starting strong safety. That could signal that the team will not bring back their incumbent SS Quintin Mikell.

Mikell's name is significant because of his deep ties to current Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was his position coach in Philly and has a long track record of making former players prime free agent targets.

After cutting ties with Oshiomogho Atogwe, the Rams have a pretty glaring need at safety. With James Butler and Craig Dahl you could make the case that they're set at strong safety, but Mikell fits Spags' definition of an interchangeable safety, who can play in coverage as well as run support. Mikell was one of the league's best safeties last season. The only knock against him is his age, at 31. 

Fifth-round pick S Jermale Hines looks to have the talent for a bright future, but is unlikely to have a big impact as a rookie given the learning curve in the secondary. Mikell could be a perfect solution to the need for a couple years while the Rams develop Hines and other young players like Darian Stewart

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