The 2014 Rams Free Agency and Draft will not be correctly predicted by anyone, but it's worth a try for the fun of it. I will list the order of which I will be talking about below.
- Cuts and Re-signings (possible restructuring)
- Free Agency
- 2014 NFL Draft
- Starters and Stats
- Season Prediction
Roster Cuts and Re-signings
Rodger Saffold- We have to re-sign Saffold immediately his move to the guard position really paid off this season and has the ability to be an Elite player at guard. Re-sign for about 5,000,000 a year for 4-5 years.
Chris Williams- We could resign him for depth but his $925,000 contract could become money we need later in the off-season, and I believe Barrett Jones will start at LG. Savings $925,000.
Darian Stewart- There is no reason to re-sign him, though he is a serviceable back-up, we have McLeod that in my opinion will be our main back-up next season at safety. Savings $1,000,000.
Will Witherspoon- We could re-sign him and he could be a veteran presence for our young defense, it helps that he was once a really good player. I think he will be gone in the end.
Kellen Clemens- He has done his dues to St.Louis in his time, but I think it's time to find a better back-up to run the offense if Bradford goes down again. Savings $555,000.
JoLonn Dunbar- He is a good player no doubt, but he will want a little more money next season and we can get just as much production out of a 2-3 round pick in the draft. Savings $650,000.
Matt Giordano- We don't need him back, he wasn't a bad player this year, but he will be gone with Matt Daniels filling his role. Savings $555,000.
Brady Quinn- No cause to explain here...... Savings $242,823.
Shelley Smith- Could be re-signed for depth relatively cheap, played pretty well this season and would be a good keep. Re-sign for about $600,000 a year for 2-3 years.
Mike McNeil- I think we let him go, we have everything we need in our tight-ends with Cook, Kendricks, and Harkey. Savings $555,000.
Quinton Pointer- He's a goner.... Savings $169,412.
Tim Barnes- I think this is a player we have to keep, and I also am a firm believer that his late season play filling in for Wells has got Fisher giving him a chance to start at center. Re-sign for about $500,000 a year for about 2-3 years.
Justin Veltung- He is a determined and fearless return man, he has potential to be a 3-4 WR but we already have that covered, it hurts sometimes but this is the NFL its a business in which we can't be trying to groom 6 receivers, we need some one that is a physical veteran or an NFL ready college product. Savings $71,741.
Sam Bradford- Restructured contract. Something that we can definitely get done and would help a lot. I'm saying we drop his $17,610,000 cap number and try to restructure it to about 12,000,000, this saves us $5,000,000.
Cortland Finnegan- Restructured contract. We can take his $10,000,000 cap number and drop it to about $7,000,000 and I'd be happy. Savings $3,000,000.
Harvey Dahl- CUT, he is good and brings attitude to the o-line, but he is getting old and starting to get injured. We save another $4,000,000.
Scott Well- Well he was signed and was a disappointment in my eyes... We save another $4,500,000.
Kendall Langford- He hasn't been to bad, but Matt Conrath has shown me a lot towards the end of the season in his limited playing time. We save another $4,000,000.
We would save $12,723,976, but factoring in the re-signings we save..... $6,623,976 left over, and after Dahl, Wells, and Langford are cut we have $19,123,976.
The first thing to do in free agency is address the free safety position and right tackle. We have the money to do so now. As I said now with my version of the off-season.
Jarius Byrd- We take this guy immediately we give him $8,000,000 a year for 5 years. Are cap space is now $11,123,976. Still very impressive.
Austin Howard- A up and coming RT for the Jets if they don't lock him up we steal him for $4,000,000 a year for 4 years. With Long at LT, Jones at LG, Barnes at C, Saffold at RG, Howard at RT we would have one of the best O-lines in the NFL. We can now draft depth for the o-line in mid rounds, but remember we still have Shelley Smith, Mike Person, and Joe Barksdale as back-ups we can draft 2 more. We have $7,123,976 left in cap space.
2014 NFL Draft
#4 overall (from Browns)- The St.Louis Rams select Sammy Watkins WR Clemson. Watkins is a threat to score on any touch and has rare first-step quickness. He looks like a game-breaking receiver for the NFL. A true #1 WR best to come out since AJ Green and Julio Jones. Just think Tavon in the slot, Bailey and Watkins on the outside, and Cook up the seam, virtually impossible to cover Sam Bradford will finally have an Elite arsenal to impress and play at his full ability. Don't forget Zac Stacy and Bam Bam Cunningham.
#26 overall (from Browns)- The St.Louis Rams select Kony Ealy DE Mizzou. Ealy was an impact pass-rusher on the other side of the field from Michael Sam in 2013. Ealy has an impressive combination of size and speed. He was tough at the point of attack on run downs and showed his pass rushing prowess off the edge throughout 2013. Ealy looks like a natural 4-3 defensive end who can stay on the field for all three downs. He rotates in with Long and Quinn, if Long becomes to expensive in the future he could easily take over across from Quinn.
#29 overall (from Patriots)- The St.Louis Rams select Jason Verrett CB TCU. He maintained a high level of play throughout the year. Verrett assembled 38 tackles with 14 passes defended and two interceptions this season. Sources have said that Verrett's small stature is going to hurt him on draft day. He can learn behind Cortland for a couple of years, get meaner and become our slot corner in the future. If Walton can trust our corners in man coverage (when they play their best ball) this secondary unit becomes scary solidifying our defense. Byrd, McDonald, Johnson, Jenkins, Finnegan, and Verrett finally give QB's something to fear while throwing.
#12- The St.Louis Rams select Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh. Donald's interior pass-rush ability is in high demand in the NFL. The senior may not have the size to warrant a first-round pick, but he had the senior-year performance that could warrant him being taken with a second-day pick. Think Donald and Brockers on the inside, and Quinn, Long, and Ealy at the DE's. Most fierce defensive line in the NFL.
#30- The St.Louis Rams select Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State. In 2013, Shazier recorded 143 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, four forced fumbles and six sacks. He has good instincts and covers a lot of ground with explosive speed. Him across from Ogletree and next to Laurinaitis (former Ohio State MLB) forms an impressive set of linebackers. The defense is now an Elite unit at every aspect D-line, Linebacker, and Secondary.
#11- The St.Louis Rams select De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon. There is no doubt that Thomas is an electric play-maker who is a threat to score on any touch. If the junior was bigger, he would be a sure fire first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He is the speed to Stacy and Cunningham.
#10- The St.Louis Rams select David Yankey G Stanford. Yankey has the potential to be a balanced run-blocker and a reliable pass-protector. He has received good coaching and development at Stanford. As long as Yankey stays healthy, he should enter the NFL with good experience. He joins the back-ups Barksdale, Smith, and Person. Could very well start in the future.
#13- The St.Louis Rams select Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois. Garoppolo was a prolific point machine in 2013. He threw for 5,050 yards with 53 touchdown passes and nine interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes. All 32 teams have scouted him, and two general managers visited campus. Scouts are said to like Garoppolo's quick release, but have concerns about his hand size and level of competition. A good back-up for Bradford.
#12- The St.Louis Rams select Justin Britt OT Mizzou. Britt has some athleticism, but could use more power for the NFL. He also could be a candidate to move to right tackle or inside to guard. Another serviceable back-up for our o-line.
#11- The St.Louis Rams select Tevin McDonald S Eastern Washington. If it weren't for off-the-field issues, McDonald would be higher in the draft. He was kicked out of UCLA for violating team rules and transfered to Eastern Washington this spring. McDonald was previously suspended by the Bruins for a reported failed drug test. He had an impressive 2012 season with 79 tackles, nine passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception. McDonald had 56 tackles, three interceptions, nine passes broken up and a forced fumble as a redshirt freshman in 2011. McDonald has 43 tackles, two passes broken up and one interception this year. He has missed the last four games with an injury.
2014 St.Louis Rams Starters and Way too Early Predictions
QB- Sam Bradford, he will impress and end with career highs in every passing category being a top 10 QB, stats will go along the lines of 4700 yards, 64% completion rate, 9 interceptions,and 42 TD's.
RB- Zac Stacy, he will be a top 10 RB will reach career highs in all rushing categories, top 1,000 yards and have about 9 or 10 touchdowns.
#1- Sammy Watkins will have an impressive rookie year getting about 1000 yards receiving and 6 TD's.
#2- Stedman Bailey will get about 800 yards and 8 TD's on his way becoming the perfect #2 WR.
Slot- Tavon Austin, 2 punt return TD's, 3 KR TD's, 4 rushing TD's, and 11 receiving TD's and about 1000-1200 yards.
TE- Jared Cook will produce big now knowing the system, ends the season with 14 TD's 1000 yards.
FB- Lance Kendricks, will be fierce lead-blocker, and will benefit the passing game at times ends season with 3 TD's 400 yards receiving.
LT- Jake Long, he makes it through a full season and returns to the Pro Bowl.
LG- Barrett Jones, he makes an impression on the league and is an up and coming guard.
C- Tim Barnes, becomes one of the better centers in the league.
RG- Rodger Saffold, becomes Elite Guard and goes to the Pro Bowl.
RT- Austin Howard, brings his high level of play to St.Louis, and continues to play very well.
O-Line unit- They will give up about 19 sacks on the season.
RE- Robert Quinn, continues amazing play becomes best DE in the league, finishes season with 24 sacks, 4 passes defended, 6 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, 74 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, and 1 TD.
LE- Chris Long, rises his level of play another level finishes year with 11.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovered fumble, 48 tackles, and 10 tackles for a loss.
Rotation End- Kony Ealy, impressive as a rookie 8 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovered fumble, 32 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss.
DT- Michael Brockers, becomes monster in the middle 2014 stats will look like 54 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 1 pass defended, 5 forced fumbles, and 1 recovered fumble.
DT- Aaron Donald, does good in his first season still adjusting to the NFL, finishes the year with 33 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
OLB- Alec Ogletree, solidifies status as a top 10 OLB, stats will be around 146 tackles, 5 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, 7 tackles for a loss, 4 interceptions, 5 passes defended, 4.5 sacks,
MLB- James Laurinaitis, returns his high level play as one of the top MLB's today, season stats 163 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 4 recovered fumbles, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defended, and 3 sacks.
OLB- Ryan Shazier, decent rookie season, stats: 78 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 recovered fumbles, 6 tackles for a loss, 1 interception, 2 passes defended, and 4 sacks.
CB- Janoris Jenkins, makes Pro Bowl has a come back season, finishes the year with 60 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles, 2 tackles for a loss, 7 interceptions, 17 passes defended, 5 TD's.
FS- Jairus Byrd, Pro Bowl best FS in the NFL, season stats will look like 48 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovered fumble, 1 tackle for a loss, 10 interceptions, 12 passes defended, 2 TD's.
SS- T.J. McDonald, gets better in his 2nd season, stats: 64 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 tackles for a loss, 4 interceptions, and 9 passes defended.
CB- Trumaine Johnson, takes his play to another level, will finish with stats around 60-70 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 5 interceptions, 15 passes defended, and 1 TD.
Slot CB- Cortland Finnegan, a big bounce back year to show he can still play, stats will be around 29 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 8 passes defended.
K- Greg Zuerlein, top 3 kicker, 27-27 FG attempts, 100% extra points, new record for longest FG with a 68 yard FG.
P- Johnny Hekker, best punter in the NFL....
St.Louis Rams finish the season 12-4 and make it to the NFC Championship game. Stats may be a little exaggerated, but hey its all for fun. Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed.