Washinton's annual free agent spending spree is one of the more egregious displays of crass consumption in the NFL. Dan Synder's team invariably follow up their cash orgy with a 16-game reminder of why you can't build a winner on free agency alone. More often than not, for the St. Louis Rams anyway, it's nothing more than a side show, but this year, it might be a direct competition for one free agent who figures to be a key part of the Rams' plans.
In leaked report of their free agent targets, Washington identifies New York Giants DT Barry Cofield as a top target to bolster their sagging defensive line. Uh oh. In case you've been living under self-imposed isolation during the slow news period created by the NFL lockout, you know that Cofield has been linked to the Rams as a free agent target more than once.
Could they get into a bidding war with Washington for him? Can they win such a bidding war? Just how much playing for a team much closer to contention, i.e. one that doesn't have John Beck penciled in as its starting QB, and a reunion with Steve Spagnuolo could be worth is unknown. Both factors would likely figure into the equation; however, Cofield has been quite clear in his intentions to get paid, preferably along the lines of fellow Giants DL Chris Canty.
Another defensive tackle that ought to be under consideration is Seattle's Brandon Mebane. He might be a better player than Cofield. It's been said that he doesn't project well in Pete Carroll's hybrid 4-3 scheme, hence Seattle's willingness to part with one of the premier free agent defensive tackles this year.
Something else to consider as you prep for the free agent sweepstakes: time. The free agent signing period is going to be much shorter than usual this season, meaning players will not have as much time to shop around and consider various offers. The first offer might well have to be the best.