The St. Louis Rams came out of the draft with two prospects that could give them a hand at the safety position. However, it might be tough for a couple of late-round picks, despite both Jermale Hines and Jonathan Nelson have very interesting ceilings, to make a big difference right away for the Rams. More immediate help could come via free agency, and one player that could be a real fit is Eagles S Quintin Mikell.
Mikell fits the profile of the kind of free agent role player the Rams have brought in since Steve Spagnuolo took over as head coach in 2009. What is that profile you ask? He's a veteran who got played some of his formative years under Spagnuolo himself. In Mikell's case, that coincided with Spag's time as the defensive backs coach in Philadelphia.
For his part, Mikell knows he won't be back in Philly and is dealing with the fallout from that. His name was not even included in the unofficial lockout workouts put together by some of his other teammates. He cleaned out his locker during the brief window the week before last when the lockout paused. So, yeah, he's done.
And what better way to assuage his conscience than to play for Spagnuolo again? Mikell's a strong safety, but can play both positions, working in coverage and against the run. He'd be the perfect Spagnuolo safety, unassuming and interchangeable.
If the Rams were to make a move for Mikell, or any other free agent safety, it probably means the end of James Butler and his $3 million salary. Butler didn't see much playing time down the stretch last year, and Dahl replaced him coming out of camp as the team's starter.
Spagnuolo and Devaney have said that they have a plan in place for free agency. They'll be ready to go as soon as the whistle blows to start the talent grab. Don't be surprised if Mikell isn't somewhere on that list.