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Grading the Rams free agent possibilities

Good reading today from the Post-Dispatch. (btw, their online edition is good enough to remind us all of exactly why we don't need printed papers anymore.) Realizing the Rams fate for the season is pretty much sealed up, they've got a broad look at the Rams needs and potential changes ahead of next season. Highly recommended.

As it's pretty interesting, we'll probably refer back to the articles throughout the day, but I'm going to jump in with a comment on their top five free agent list.

Getting a cornerback like the Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha would go a long way to erasing the ugly memories of the Rams secondary from the early going this season. Unfortunately, he's not going anywhere. The Raiders dumped CB DeAngelo Hall to free up money in order to ink Asomugha to a superstar contract. He hasn't accepted any offers yet, but conventional wisdom says the Raiders will hit him with the franchise tag for 2009. 

The Panthers used the franchise tag to retain LT Jordan Gross this season. Normally, you'd think a team would be crazy to let go of a solid left takle, but the Panthers have a tough situation for 2009 as Gross, DE Julius Peppers (also on the PD list), and CB Chris Gamble are all eligible for free agency. This report says Gamble is the most likely to go. Gamble would be a huge boost to the Rams secondary, but everyone else in the league will be making a run at him too.

I have think the Titans will give Albert Haynesworth whatever he wants. The guy's a potential MVP on an undefeated team, what wouldn't you do to keep him if he were on the Rams? Exactly.

Giants RB Derrick Ward, who had 58 yards on just 8 carries against the Rams this season, and teammate RB Brandon Jacobs are both free agents after this season. According to this report, Ward reminds Jacobs everyday of the paychecks they'll be collecting after this season, making it a pretty easy conclusion that Ward will be looking for a starting gig in 2009. I think the Rams could find a good power runner to share duties with Steven Jackson in the bargain bin or later in the draft even.

One position where the Rams might find a real impact player is at middle linebacker. Check out this list. I'm sure teams will make an effort to resign lots of those guys, but if the Rams could land a guy like Karlos Dansby or Channing Crowder it would give the team that presence in the middle they so desperately need. Lots of good names at safety on that list too.

Armchair GMs, don't worry, there's going to be plenty more talk about this to come.