This has already been a better offseason for the Rams. Last year's sex appeal signings that brought in big names like Drew Bennett and Dante Hall proved to be relatively anticlimactic particularly since the offense moved in fits and starts all season.
I like the Jacob Bell signing, for reasons we've discussed ad nauseam since the o-line fell apart this season. That gives the Rams a young o-line, something that should keep them competitive through the years. Now all we need to do is find a center. If possible, I'd try to sign Romberg to a short deal, but he might be less willing to take that knowing the Rams would still be looking for a center to potential start. Incognito could move to center too, with Bell and Setterstrom beside him.
Bell's deal averages about $2 million a year less than Faneca, who the Rams also made a push for before courting Bell. I think I like the Bell signing better, and age has everything to do with it. Faneca's 31 and that increases the possibility of injury. Over the first three years of the contract, you're likely to get much more playing time out of Bell. And less guaranteed money too.
Faneca possessed a quality the Rams probably do lack enough of in the locker room, especially with Bruce gone now, and that's leadership. While I think they can find that elsewhere, it would have really helped on the o-line. Might have had a positive influence on sort of wayward son, Alex Barron. Talk of adding leadership to the line also might indicate that the team hasn't totally given up on Barron, and they probably shouldn't. Also take into account that the team's lack of activity in pursuing a DE through free agency likely indicates that they plan on taking one of the DE's available early in the draft, which means they don't plan on drafting LT Jake Long. That leaves Barron and Pace as our starting tackles this season. That could be fine, health permitting. However, the draft is heavy on tackles and they could still get a solid prospect in the second round, someone they wouldn't have to pay so much to spend his season as a backup. I don't know, but it at least opens up lots of possibilities. I still think, depending on who's available, an OT with their early second round pick would be a good move.
I'm kind of in shock that Farve's retiring.