It's hard to imagine the St. Louis Rams looking for another free agent, but they might still be in the shopping the mood. The situation at cornerback changed dramatically when second-year corner Jerome Murphy hit a divot in the field and fractured his ankle. The most expensive divot in the history of the Russell Training Center will likely put Murphy on the shelf for the entire year.
Murphy, as you know, was being counted on as the team's third cornerback. That would have put him in line for a significant number of snaps in the nickle and dime defense as well as the main backup to starters Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell, both of whom have some injury history themselves. According to this report from the Sporting News, the Rams are monitoring available free agents and looming roster cuts as teams pare down from 90- to 53-man rosters.
Most of the free agent corners were quickly gobbled up once the Namdi sweepstakes wrapped. The best available name is Kelvin Hayden, recently of the Colts. Hayden missed ample time over the last two seasons with injuries. In terms of skill set, he's more of a cover corner than the man corners the Rams prefer. Among the second tier options, Atlanta corner Brian Williams, 32, could be another option, albeit more of a luxury.
And what about Jerome Murphy's future with the team? At first, I thought it was telling that Rams brass immediately started talking about a season-ending injury when the sticker date for Murphy's injury is ten weeks. But, even if he did come back by week 6, he might still be limited in just how much he could do. Murphy is under contract through 2013.
Later, we'll take a look at the internal options at CB.