2013 NFL free agents: Connecting the dots

Jamie McDonald

Want to know some potential free agent targets? Follow the trail of bread crumbs from city to city.

St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead was on local radio this week to talk about the team's plans for the year ahead. On the subject of free agency, Snead made it clear that the Rams would not rule out any of the bigger fish out there, but he did say that any major addition would be done with a long-term plan in mind, i.e. someone that can help the team for 2013 and beyond rather than a pricey rental. Executive VP Kevin Demoff noted another route in free agency, one focused on finding complementary role players who come with small contracts.

Free agency doesn't start until March, so we've got plenty of time to parse the potential additions. Before the Rams start thinking about outside help, Fisher, Snead and the staff will give the current roster and pending free agents a thorough review.

That said, when it comes to free agents, the first place to look for targets is among the known commodities, the guys who have played under a certain coach before. TST social media editor Daniel Doelling has been doing his homework, digging up the names on this year's free agent list with coaching connections. Have a look.

Bookmark this page. Learn these names. Last year, the Rams brought in Williams Hayes, Cortland Finnegan, Jo-Lonn Dunbar and they tried to make a run at Jason Jones, all players with prior links to the coaching staff.

A couple names that immediately stand out to me on offense are tight ends Dustin Keller and Jared Cook. I'm a big fan of the later, Cook, who would give the Rams a receiver type to pair with Kendricks.

The wild card here is what the Rams do at defensive coordinator. An outside candidate would open up even more connections for the team to look at in free agency.

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