2013 NFL free agents: Rams unlikely to be players for wide receivers

Doug Pensinger

The St. Louis Rams still need help at wide receiver, but don't expect them to spend big money on a free agent.

The St. Louis Rams' ongoing need for a wide receiver continues this year. In fact, it might be just as urgent as ever with it looking like Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson will escape for free agency this year. Needs aside, don't expect the Rams to be players for some of the big ticket free agents on the market this year says one NFL insider.

Don Banks revealed his offseason preview of the St. Louis Rams on Monday, taking a look at the team's biggest priorities for free agency and the draft. Here's what he had to say about Les Snead and a couple of receivers likely to fetch plenty of interest next month:

If St. Louis does lose Amendola, it doesn't mean they're going to be in the chase for a big-name, big-money free agent receiver like Greg Jennings or Dwayne Bowe. That's not in the plan for the Rams, who consider Jennings an injury risk himself after his 2012 season, and like many teams are wary of Bowe's decreased effort level after he earns a big payday.

Money would also seem to be a problem with pursuing either of those two, since each could command $10 million per season or more. Cap room is tight thanks to a handful of big contracts for building block players. That much money on a receiver would eat up most of the budget for the roster's other needs, including depth along the offensive line and safety help to replace Quintin Mikell and Craig Dahl.

Banks goes on to note that the Rams success this season depends in large part on finding Sam Bradford some playmakers to work with. No argument there, but, as the Rams have learned over the years, easier said than done. So little money to work with in free agency, means they may have to seek out a diamond in the rough. Can a guy like Brian Hartline break through in a stable place like St. Louis?

The list of free agent receivers quickly changes after you get past the top five or six names. If the Rams want to go cheap, they could look at a guy like ... um, like ... well ... Brandon Gibson, essentially someone to mix and match, but nobody that would truly give the offense what it needs at the position.

That leaves the NFL Draft to look for receiver help, and Banks notes that possibility as well.

We'll save that for another post.

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