Are the St. Louis Rams close to a deal with free agent running back Jerious Norwood? Maybe. Reports are surfacingthis evening that Norwood is in St. Louis for a visit with the team. The Rams interest is real, and some speculate that Norwood could sign a deal tomorrow.
Norwood signing a deal would naturally assume that he's undergone a thorough medical evaluation by the Rams teams doctors and trainers. If they were picky about Mark Clayton's knee, they'll need to be extra cautious with Norwood, who has a lengthy injury history. He went on IR with a knee injury last September. Besides just being healed, he'd have to prove he still possess the speed that made him such a dangerous player.
Norwood being in town for a visit makes sense. Their interest in the Falcons' free agent first appeared in public on Saturday. Devaney knows Norwood, having been a personnel man in Atlanta when they drafted him in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Something else to remember with free agent rumors: sometimes things are not what they seem. The Giants brought Jason Snelling in for a visit today, only to sign Ahmad Bradshaw shortly thereafter. Player visit do not equal guaranteed contracts, and the Rams have been stealthy, to say the least, with their free agent moves again this year.
That said, if his knee passes muster with the sawbones, Norwood makes for a nice addition to the Rams backfield, a speedy playmaker capable of doing some damage on the outside. Ideally, Norwood would the first of two running backs added, Norwood a specialist and a second back to be a true backup to Steven Jackson.
It's a buyer's market for running backs, evidenced today by Bradshaw signing a four-year, $18 million deal, far less than he was initially seeking. Why not get two at those prices?