The Rams are in a prime position in the draft. They have multiple picks in the top 60 for the next several years. This was setup by the Robert Griffin III trade. Unfortunately, the Rams are not in the same situation for free agency. The Rams have been hurt by the previous CBA draft system. Years of high draft picks - due to woeful seasons - have left the team somewhat cash-strapped. All-in-all, it could be worse. The Rams could be like the Jets, and have a burning tire fire of ineptitude on their hands, but instead the Rams will just have to be very responsible about they do have to spend.
The Rams strength is their draft capital, not their payroll. So to me, it makes sense that the Rams build their strategy for improving the team around the draft. That means finding role-players in free agency, and players you can win with in the draft. What does that mean? It means that if the Rams were to plan around their strength, they would most likely be focused on building the foundations of a better team in the draft - rather than free agency. What does this look like? Only Jeff Fisher and Les Snead know for sure, but I would venture to guess that the roles they view to be most vital to the growth of this team will be addressed in the draft, and lesser roles will be touched in free agency.
If Steven Jackson does not return this year as a Ram, St. Louis will have a big hole to fill. Currently Isiah Pead and Daryl Richardson appear to be waiting in the wings, but Jeff Fisher has always preferred to have a little thunder on the team as well - a player that can grind out tough yards like Steven. The only other player on the roster that fits that role is Terrance Gannaway. Despite Gannaway's recent work at a sandwich shop in Texas, I'm not sure he will simply be given that role when camp begins. Could a player like Bell be the answer? He lacks the athletic ability that Jackson brings, but appears to be a significant upgrade over Gannaway. What do you say Rams fans? Any interest in Le'Veon Bell?
If you didn't detect my sarcasm in the link let me make myself clear. No one is breaking any kind of news by filling us in on the similarities between Amendola and Wes Welker. They are both small, fast, white slot receivers. They both played the same position at the same college, we get it. While the move of Danny Amendola to the Patriots makes sense, it almost makes too much sense at this point. Personally, I would hope the Rams competitively compete for Danny's services. He can be a real asset to this team, and is currently the best receiver on the roster. If he's not a Ram, fans will certainly hope he doesn't become a Patriot.
It's hard to feel bad for players that will be "unlucky" enough to be paid in the top 10 of their position this year, but it is easy to understand why they could be frustrated. The franchise tag pays a player for one year with no guarantee for the future. Players don't like it, and teams would prefer not to use it, so it's always interesting to see which teams get desperate enough to use it.
Stay classy Rams fans