The St. Louis Rams have been busy in free agency. Here's a look at where things stand for the team and the players.
Saturday is day five of NFL free agency. After a breakneck start to the whole show on Tuesday afternoon, news and rumors have slowed to a trickle as teams have reeled in their top targets and turn their attention to due diligence on the second-tier options. The St. Louis Rams have made two additions, cornerback Cortland Finnegan and center Scott Wells, that figure to have a major impact on reshaping the team to Jeff Fisher's vision. GM Les Snead and his crew may not be finished.
Let's get caught up on where the Rams stand in free agency as of Saturday morning.
Finnegan was the first big fish they pulled out of the water, within the first 24 hours of free agency. Pro Bowl center Scott Wells signed a deal last night worth a reported $24 million over four years with $13 million guaranteed. Wells is a gritty run blocker who was the heart and soul of a very good interior line for the Green Bay Packers. He got his start in the later days of the Favre era in Green Bay. They have more work to do to rebuild their offensive line, but they have a solid core of veterans with a chip on their shoulder in Wells and last year's addition, guard Harvey Dahl.
The Ones That Got Away
The most notable fish to get through the net was right tackle Eric Winston.
Nate Livings of the Bengals was scheduled to come in for a visit, but he never made it out of Dallas. The Cowboys signed him to a deal to shore up their interior line. Livings' numbers were mediocre at best. How much of that was due to the players around him is questionable.
Brady Quinn and Jason Campbell have both been on the radar as possible answers at backup quarterback. Campbell signed with the Bears quickly, and Quinn left St. Louis after throwing passes to visiting free agent receiver Steve Smith.
I'm out of fishing analogies for this one. Still casting their lines in the hopes of landing Jason Jones and Mario Manningham? Eh, it works, just don't tell the Pulitzer committee's blogger division.
Jason Jones left town on Thursday. He went to Seattle for a visit. The Titans, Jones' old team, are also said to be in the mix for his services. Cortland Finnegan wined and dined Jones, and told the press that he thinks Jones will pick St. Louis. The Rams expect to have an answer from Jones over the weekend and no later than Monday.
Mario Manningham came to town on Friday. The Rams would really like to sign him, but are not willing to overpay. Super Bowl hero or not, Manningham is not a guy who deserves $7 million a year. He is a solid X receiver who lives outside the numbers, something the Rams lack.
Shaun Hill is a third player for which we lack an analogy. He visited the Rams this week. Hill offers the team a veteran backup, a guy who could keep the team competitive if injuries get to Sam Bradford this year. Hill is deciding between the Rams and the Lions, but Detroit is expected to work hard to keep him after losing their third-string QB, Drew Stanton, to the Jets.
Others On The List
A gaggle of other players have visited Rams Park or were on the team's list of players to bring in for a visit.
Former Giants and Eagles receiver Steve Smith was in town this week too, catching passes from Brady Quinn. The team gave him a physical, which is key for a player that spent the bulk of his last two seasons on injured reserve. Smith is three seasons removed from a 1,000-yards. If healthy, he would give the Rams a solid option in the short game.
Dolphins defensive tackle Kendall Langford visited on Friday, after spending some time with the Bengals. He looks like he would be a suitable consolation prize if the Rams miss out on Jones. Green Bay is also interested in signing Langford to address their needs at the five-tech.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Andre Fluellen was supposed to visit the Rams as well. The Bengals also looked at him. Fluellen was a third-round pick in 2008. He plays on the inside and outside, and is a decent depth guy, league-average type player.
Carolina Panthers free agent guard Travelle Wharton visited the Rams on Friday and left without a contract. According to Jim Thomas, Wharton is still in consideration for the Rams who need help at guard. Wharton, who turns 31 in May, has a positive track record and would be a good temporary solution for the Rams, who should draft line help this April.