I'm old enough that when I see the letters "CB" used together to conjure up the song "Convoy" in my head. Of course, here it refers to cornerbacks, those pricey, oft-injured defenders tasked with locking down receivers. The release of Oakland Raiders CB Stanford Routt will have, is already having, a direct impact on the free agent market for CBs and potential ripples that will effect the St. Louis Rams.
Sort of like when the Rubber Duck decides to go a-huntin' bear. Or something like that ...
Routt already has visits lined up with the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are likely bracing for the loss of their own free agent cornerback Courtland Finnegan, aka Andre Johnson's Moriarty.
They may not land Routt, but their interest in his services signals some hesitation in slapping Finnegan with the franchise tag. It might even signal some doubts about inking him to a new deal. Finnegan himself is under the impression that he will not be re-signed by the Titans.
Enter the St. Louis Rams and their new head coach who knows a thing or two about Finnegan, having drafted him in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
The Rams will court Courtland Finnegan, according to Evan Silva at Rotoworld who has a very good line on the Rams intentions.
Silva also suggests the end of Ron Bartell's time with the Rams. Cutting Bartell and his $6.5 million salary this season would open up cap space.
Doubtlessly, you are scratching your head at the idea of cutting Bartell. Me too, but ... Bartell will enter the 2012 season as a 30-year old cornerback coming off a broken vertebrae in his neck. There is not guarantee that he will round back into form. He's also a veteran with a big contract under a new regime, those guys usually have a target on their back from day one.
Finnegan would be an upgrade over Bartell. Paired with Bradley Fletcher, himself a big question mark because of injuries, the Rams would have a pair of physical corners working the outside. Factor in Jerome Murphy, and it's a pretty solid top three. They would still need more of a true nickel, something I personally don't think Murphy is as well suited for as he is working on the outside.
Fisher will not want to go through a lengthy rebuilding process with the Rams. He's also been unofficially mandated to start winning again in 2012, even if that doesn't mean the Rams will be in Super Bowl contention. Getting players healthy will be a big help, and you can expect Fisher to augment the process by bringing in some of his former players.
And since our younger readers are probably wondering what the hell "Convoy" is, I present the non-copyrighted homemade music video version of it!