Billy Devaney, the St. Louis Rams general manager, discussed his team's approach to free agency this year, this year and every year, on KNFS, local sports talk radio. As you might have guessed, the big names are not the priority. Instead, the GM wants to improve the team another way.
I don't know why local sports talk radio seems to obsess on Plaxico Burress; they lump him together with the top of this year's free agent class at receiver. Rant aside, asked about adding a "big name" wide receiver, Devaney replied:
I don't know. Who are the big name wide receivers? [Host: Plaxico Burress would be one.] I don't know. We are looking. We evaluated all of those guys. I talked about it yesterday a little bit. Philosophically for one guy do you jump out there and spend pretty much your whole focus on that one guy or is it better to get a couple of solid starters? Did you improve your team that way? I think we have chosen to go the second route. I think we are in a position to be able to do that.
That's echoes what Devaney told the Post-Dispatch.
Obviously we're going to build this thing through the draft and supplement with guys (in free agency) that can be good, solid players for a long time. It doesn't mean they're going to be the ‘A-plus' kind of players. Rather than just go after the one guy, if we can get two, three starters out of this thing, I would be thrilled with that.
Really, there are only a couple areas where a "big name" would make sense for the Rams.
Having a number one wide receiver, an established guy, would really help this offense. I liked the idea of Sidney Rice, but there are those who point to the size of contract versus the length of his career and his production and injury history during that span. As to the other top tier receivers on the market, Braylon Edwards and Malcom Floyd, to me, don't represent enough of a true No. 1 to deserve that contract. Other names, like James Jones and Steve Breaston, are more complementary players, good ones, but similar to what the Rams already have.
The only other player or position I think deserves some consideration for a marquee addition is defensive tackle. Brandon Mebane is still undecided - and things are crazy enough now that his Tweet about picking a DVD sent the world into a frenzy. He's too expensive for the Rams, and they don't put a high premium on defensive tackles, instead having a preference for pass rushers. Remember, Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins weren't getting big paychecks until after they played in Spagnuolo's system, laden with pass rushers.
You could make the argument that running back, complementary or backup or whatever you want to call it, is an area that deserves some cash thrown at it. It's a fair point. However, the Rams do have a superstar running back, they need a backup and/or complement to go with Steven Jackson. Darren Sproles would have made sense, but he isn't capable of replacing Jackson should that be required for a week or two or even, God forbid, more. The teams that are loading up on running backs, New Orleans and the Eagles, didn't build that stable from a bunch of high-priced superstars. Look for the Rams to add more than one running back.
Ok, get your work done early this morning, because things are going to get really crazy this afternoon and evening. The Rams, and most other teams, haven't been all that busy signing players so far, but that will change today.
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