2011 NFL Free Agents: The Rams and the secondary market

If you thought the first three days of NFL free agency were wild, just wait. Things are about to heat up in terms of the sheer number of players about to sign deals with teams. Expect the St. Louis Rams to appear in the news, actual news as opposed to rumors, more frequently today and through the weekend as the secondary market develops. Secondary market, you say? 

Just like illegal drugs, NFL free agency is one example of raw capitalism, the market operating as theory would have it. To some extent, anyway, there are still plenty of irrational players, Dan Snyder impacts prices sort of like Keith Richards changes street value when the Stones come to town. I'll leave the drug analogy with that, lest anyone with aggressive web filters at work can't join hundreds of thousands of others in reading TST today. 

Prices are set, for the most part, by the big fish. Cornerbacks aren't being signed because agents and teams are waiting to see what kind of deal Namdi gets. Teams will start agreeing to deals with wide receivers today as Sidney Rice and Santonio Holmes have now established a market cap price for that position group. And so on and so forth. 

The Rams have mostly secondary needs, as in the positions left to fill are those not typically occupied by superstars, 4-3 OLB for example. In some cases that's a league-wide truism and sometimes it's because of the value the Rams in particular put on those spots, DT for example. 

Running backs

DeAngelo Williams set the ceiling. With Reggie Bush signing a two-year deal worth about $10 million, more running backs should start agreeing to terms. Bush's deal will be of particular interest in the Darren Sproles derby. He won't top that number, but could, conceivably, ask for the same amount. 

Wide receivers

Rice and Holmes were the big gets. Now, the big two on the market are Braylon Edwards and Malcom Floyd. Minnesota is said to be hot on the trail of both Edwards and James Jones, which means to keep an eye on whether or not reports of the Rams interest in Floyd are for real. 

Linebackers

Outside linebackers in a 4-3 defense don't make much money. Period. Steven Tulloch turned down a $6 million-per-year deal with Detroit. Carolina gave James Anderson a five-year, $22 million deal which is about the ceiling for 4-3 OLBs. The Rams are chasing plenty of linebackers, and it looks like that market could shape up today as well. 

Defensive tackle

That's still a strange one. Cofield was the first domino to fall. The big fish is 3-4 NT Aubrayo Franklin, but the 3-4 NT and the 4-3 DT positions don't usually carry the same market value. Mabane would likely be asking for more than Cofield; he's a better player. And with three teams in hot pursuit, including his former team, he might be best served letting a bidding war play out for a another day or two. 

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