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Never easy to say goodbye, esp to superstars

Jim Thomas at the PD takes a look at three Greatest Show teammates who could be playing elsewhere come 2009. Leonard Little, Torry Holt, and Orlando Pace were headline players in the Rams St. Louis glory days, and parting ways with any of them, much less all three, would sound a sentimental chord for any Rams fan. But business is business, and if cutting any of these guys helps the franchise's slow crawl back to respectability, then so be it. That's why they retire jerseys.

I think it's unlikely for the Rams to jettison all three; if nothing else it would leave too much untouchable money on the table. I've never really been clear how odds work, but I'd give you good odds that DE Leonard Little will be a Ram next season. Little can be a role player, used as a pass rush specialist in key situations; the limited playing time reduces the injury risk for the 34-year-old. That's pretty long in the tooth, but Little would hardly be the first DE to contribute past the age of 34. In fact, there are a few players on the list of season sack leaders above the age of 34. (Michael Strahan registered 9 sacks for the Super Bowl champion Giants in his age-36 season. Want further proof, look at Reggie White's career. Little has that kind of talent.) Besides, as Thomas points out, Little would be the priciest one of the bunch, in terms of cap money the team would still owe him, for the Rams to send packing.

It's hard to imagine the Rams offensive line without long-time fixture LT Orlando Pace. Of course, it's been easier since Pace hasn't played a full season since '05. [optional joke: the Rams offensive line has been hard to imagine period thanks to its invisibility during games. Oh! Hey! Zing! this is why I write football, not comedy.] Right now, however, there are scenarios emerging that have the Rams without both their starting offensive tackles, Pace and Alex Barron. If the Rams draft a building block OT, very likely, the youngster will have to play; the Rams decisions about Pace and Barron will determine whether the rookie will play on the left or right side.

Sadly, WR Torry Holt is probably all but gone at this point. The Rams young receivers Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton are expected to take center stage among the receiving corps next season. From the painfully ironic situations department, the Rams will doubtlessly hang on to free agent bust Drew Bennett since cutting him would mean a significant cap hit. I hate the thought of Holt being gone mostly because I think he could be more productive if the Rams make moves to fix their offense. But business is business. Maybe they could at least get a draft pick for Holt, take some of the sting out of it.