One of the biggest unknown's on the Rams roster is Strong Outside Linebacker. With Jo-Lonn Dunbar hitting Free Agency it leaves the starting spot vacant with numerous options to fill it. If there is one position in Free Agency we will pick someone up to start i see it being Sam linebacker. But of course there are four ways the Rams could go about this.Strongside linebacker is one of the least valuable positions in my eyes. And i have a feeling we will be running a lot of Nickel packages where the SAM backer would be on the sideline, therefore making it a position that we need to fill with a quality player not necessarily a star player.
Option #1. Re Sign Jo-Lonn
A solid option. He performed well in 2012 but regressed a bit in 2013. I believe he would be back to 2012 form with Gregg Williams as D-Coordinator. He wouldn't cost much and he would have some experience in the new defense that Williams will install for the Rams.
Option #2. Draft a Sam Backer
With all the needs on our team this is my least favorite option. I would value Tackle, Guard, Receiver, Corner and Free Safety over a Sam Backer. If we were to grab one it wouldn't be till around rounds 3-5.
Option #3. Ray Ray Armstrong
Ray Ray was a player i was excited about when we got him as a undrafted rookie free agent. I thought it was tremendous value for someone we didn't have to draft. On special teams he was a play maker, as well as in preseason as OLB. The only issue i have with Armstrong is he has only a year of experience at OLB. Though he flashed potential i dont know if we should trust SAM duties to a player who hasn't really proven himself.
Option #4. Sign a Veteran
Im not opposed to this idea as some might be. I think signing a veteran would bring a sense of leadership and experience as well as give some more time for Armstrong to develop. There are a couple of options like Lamar Woodley or Daryl Smith that would bring what Witherspoon did last year but with better play. Or we could make a push for someone like Brandon Spikes. He was a MLB in New England but would easily transition to SAM as a two down Backer. He has an edge about him that fits our team and will be 27 when next season starts. As you can tell i wouldnt mind the Spikes idea coming to fruition.
Im basically wanting to know what the consensus is here on TST for what we should do at Strongside Linebacker.