And just like that the Kennedy era comes to a close in St. Louis, Jimmy Kennedy that is. (hat tip to kevinramsfan)
Really, it was probably the best for both parties. Fans and others in St. Louis had grown weary of JK's presence on the line, and coaching transitions, an outright lack of tutelage, and injuries marred his time here and his first round status upped the ante to a level nearly impossible for him to live up to. Best of luck to ya, JK.
Reading between the lines of this trade, two things immediately come to mind:
- Haslett and Linehan must have some real confidence in their three newest D-line draft picks. Carriker's already been named the starter, before JK was shipped out even. As far as second day picks Keith Jackson Jr and Clifton Ryan, the coaches must feel that they can provide solid depth, at least as big boys on the line to clog up lanes and draw double teams. I'm pretty confident in Carriker, but much more guarded about Ryan and Jackson. Obviously, a lot of our trepidation stems from watching back up runners look like Steven Jackson against the Rams d-line last year. I sure hope Haslett and Linehan are right here, because while JK may never have been a Pro Bowler, at least we had another warm, experienced body for depth.
- The coaching staff may very well have confidence in the rookies, but it's hard not to wonder if the Rams are now back in the market for a DT...ahem, Kris Jenkins. From the Post-Dispatch article:
Hmmm, the burden to get a disgruntled Jenkins off the payroll should now be pretty heavy in Carolina, and I suspect their once ridiculous asking price of a first round pick will moderate somewhat - maybe a TE and a third rounder in '08? Or maybe they're banking on a pending release/cut this summer of someone that could really help out the D-line depth.
Stay tuned. I get the sneaking feeling the D-line as we'll know it this season is still taking shape.
Here's the Bronco fan view of the deal at the Mile High Report.