The Case of the missing Mardy Gilyard banner

Does a recent redecoration spell the end of Mardy Gilyard's time with the St. Louis Rams?

Today, the PD took on the debate about the St. Louis Rams receivers, and which ones could be out of the mix following the team's selection of two more in the 2011 NFL Draft. (Here's my take on the Rams receiver spots from yesterday). One name that continually came up as at-risk was that of Mardy Gilyard, last year's fourth round pick who never caught on thanks to the NFL's arcane rules about graduation and then the injury bug. The PD's Roger Hensley then dropped an added morsel speculating on Gilyard's future with the Rams.

Over the main entrance to the building on the corner of Broadway and Cole the team had been displaying huge pictures of last year's rookies Sam Bradford, Rodger Saffold and Gilyard. As I passed the Dome this morning, however, I noticed the picture of Gilyard had been removed ... leaving just Bradford and Saffold.

What does it mean? In all likelihood, it's a sign of a Rams team that is suddenly more marketable than it has been in a long, long time. With a bevy of new draft picks coming on and a handful of budding superstars, including Bradford and Saffold, why leave up the banner with a rookie receiver who had a total of 6 receptions in his rookie season? 

Occam's Razor. 

But, in case you prefer something in a tinfoil hat variety. There's plenty of speculation to be had. I

It just wouldn't make much sense for the Rams to release Gilyard at this point, unless they really and truly believe that he doesn't have a shot at making the roster when training camp begins. That could be the case. Gilyard was drafted last year when the Rams operated under a very different offensive philosophy. McDaniels might not see him as a fit in his playbook. 

From a contract standpoint, the Rams have Gilyard signed for very little. He's due a salary of $405,000. His total contract value was $2.342 million over four years. The former Cincinnati Bearcat has speed, which is something that ought to at least get him another look. His hands aren't the greatest. To me, it seems more like Gilyard would be a late roster cut, especially since the Rams have so many receivers with an injury history. 

They could always trade him, when/if the league year opens, but he's not likely to fetch much in the way of compensation. Of course, that hasn't stopped Devaney from swinging deals before. He moved Tye Hill, Adam Carriker and Alex Barron last offseason, but each of those guys was a former first-round pick. 

I'd probably go with the simplest answer on this one, until further notice. 

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