It is October, we are going into the biggest game of the year, currently we are a .500 team. We have a good chance with a win this week to exceed any expectations for our first half of the season, especially how the first 4 games went. I have done my first and last mock for the 2014 Rams. It was fun, and very time consuming. I found out so much about the Rams needs, from my research, but also from the input of you my friends. I cannot express how happy we should be to have such a capable front office steering this ship. They took over a 2-14 team and in 18 months gutted the team and put together a very young and talented team. We can compete with any team in the league now. We have had a complete transformation. Our roster is completely different then the one Devaney and Company left us. All that is left is Sam, Harvey, JL, and Clong, Since then we have drafted very well and brought in some key free agents.
We have been so bad for so long that acquiring free agents is not an easy task. We have a great recruiter in Jeff Fisher, but our history does not show a successful franchise. For whatever reason, it is become apparent that to lure free agents the St Louis Rams have to pay a premium. This has to stop! We are getting strangled by some truly bad contracts. Kendall Langford was our first free agent signed by our current brain trust and he has played well, but he has not played to the contract offered. Cortland Finnegan was a huge splash free agent, he was a top notch corner with Jeff Fisher at Tennessee and came to help his old coach out, but the contract we gave him is enough to make Floyd Mayweather blush. There is no way he could live up to the dollars we have paid him. Scott Wells was the last big name free agent brought over in 2012. He was a pro bowl caliber center when he was at Green Bay, but all that changed once the Rams became his employer. 2013 Stan Kroenke opened up his wallet again and was front and center making a big splash in free agency luring away all pro Jake Long from Miami and re-uniting Jared Cook with Jeff Fisher. We paid top dollar for these players, it was a high risk, high reward venture. If Long can return to form, we got a steal, if Cook can live up to his potential then we got a steal. To date, not one of these free agents have lived up to expectations. To be fair, Jake Long is the closest, but he also has only played 6 games.
2014 Should be the year that we put the finishing touches on this journey, the journey to the top of the league. We are not just wanting to win today, we want to be set up for success long term.We have by all measures had 2 highly impressive drafts and filled the holes with stop gap free agents. The 2014 free agent period should be different, very different, available players would have had a chance to see what the Rams are building, the product on the field and that should lead them to not demand a premium to play for the Rams. We will not be looking for stop gaps to fill holes, we will want to target younger players that just closed out there rookie contract. Our Roster will be pretty much filled and now looking to put the finishing touches, acquiring rotational players, adding depth. March 11, 2014 is the first day of free agency and there are going to be a few players that may help this team out. This is my 2014 free agency mock:
Anthony Dixon (RB) 6'1 240lbs age 27 - The former 6th round pick from the niners hits free agency having played in every game in his 4 year career. His best attribute would be that he has fresh legs, he has 130 carries in 4 years. He is a bruising back that in my mind is capable of being a 3 down back. If Stacy, Pead, Drich are not the answer, Anthony Dixon would be a very nice free agent to bring in.
Offered a 3 year 6 mil
Pat Sims (DT) 6'4 340lbs age28-The former 3rd round pick of the Bengals signed a 1 year deal to play in Oakland this year. He is a mammoth run stuffing tackle. He will bring a nasty side to the rotation and plug up the middle for JL55.
Offered a 4 year 11 mil
Linval Joseph (DT) 6'4 330lbs age 26- Another run stuffing large body, Joseph becomes a free agent after being the second round pick of the Giants in 2010. The Giants would love to have him back, but financial issues allow us to swoop in. Jospeh is young enough and talented enough to be a true impact player. He is off to a solid start for the Giants this year dominating the line and creating penetration with a speed power combo that is usually unavailable in free agency.
Offered a 4 year 12.5 mil
Everson Griffen (DE) 6'3 280lbs age 26- Griffen has never lived up to his potential in Minnesota, after being the 4th round pick in 2010. The sky should have been the limit for Griffen who ran a 4.59 at his pro day , but never put that ability to use in the NFL. Questionable off the field issues and only putting up 13 sacks over the last 2 and a half seasons has caused the Vikings to put on offer on the table that was not "in the ballpark" as Griffen's agent put it. Griffen has waited in the wings and been a rotational player with Jared Allen and Brian Robison. We maybe able to lure him away if the offers are still offensive. He would be amazing to see when we go 4 de on known passing downs and be able to spell Clong. He is not a must have, but if the price is right a luxury that any team would love to have.
Offered 4 year 22 mil
I have done a mock that went 3 rounds and posted that,(i expanded it to include the full 7 rounds) put these free agents with that mock and we have put together a pretty solid team. My Mock and Free Agents allows us the flexibility to move on from Wells, Dahl and Langford and save about $12.5 million in cap space. I will refresh most of you with my mocked players, so you can get see my vision
1a Tyler Lewan T Michigan
1b Lucheiz Purifoy CB Florida
2a La'el Collines G LSU
2b Tre Jackson G FSU**
3 Nickoe Whitley S Miss St
4 Ego Furguson DT LSU
5 Aaron Lynch DE USF
6 James Franklin QB Missouri
7 Tyler Larson C Utah St
**To get the 2 second round picks we traded back in the first round. We may also be eligible for compensatory picks somewhere around round 5-7.