[Note by VanRam, 03/01/09 4:48 PM EST ] Bartell update. The Saints have yet to make Bartell an offer, and they're bringing in free agent CB Darren Sharper for a visit tomorrow. I suspect that the Saints, or the Rams for that matter, rebuffed the supposed $7 million per year expectations. ESPN's Mike Sando thinks this situation favors the Rams.
This probably goes without saying, but it just popped into my head while walking the dog (and freezing my free agents off) so I'll say it anyway. I suspect the Rams free agent activity is focused exclusively on Bartell and to a lesser extent James Butler at the moment. The idea being to get the big ticket items out of the way first.
Hopefully, you don't intend to let your Jason Brown hangover keep glued to the couch today. The Rams aren't likely done with their free agent activity this weekend, and that should be a little hair of the dog to get you up and going again. Let's review where things stand.
CB Ron Bartell
The Rams are scrambling to get a deal worked out with free agent CB Ron Bartell, who's a free agent only as one last gift from Jay Zygmunt. GM Billy Devaney sounds pretty adamant about Bartell as a priority too. Bartell visited the New Orleans Saints this weekend, and they could offer the CB a contract as early as today. Stay tuned, we could know how this one plays out sooner rather than later.
SS James Butler
Bulter was scheduled to visit the Cleveland Browns yesterday after leaving St. Louis without a deal. No word yet as to how that visit went. Supposedly, Butler wants to work something out with the Rams. I suspect the simultaneous situation with Bartell is complicating things just a little, making final offers hard to nail down without certainty. I'd say Bartell is probably a priority, given the team's situation at CB, and with him likely to command a pretty big paycheck, they have to wait and see what their final offer can/should be to keep him before making a final offer to Butler.
WR Torry Holt & OT Orlando Pace
Not really free agents, well, not yet anyway. Watch what happens contract-wise with Bartell and Butler (or anyone else that pops onto the radar soon), that will give some further clarification on the situation with these two long-time Rams. Holt is due a roster bonus in March, so something will have to happen with him fairly soon. The smart bet says both guys are gone.