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The Follies of Free Agency

I don't know what you think, but in my eyes, it has been a rough week since free agency started for the Rams.

First of all, we learned that the Rams decided to semi-tender O.J. Atogwe. We haven't heard much news from that story recently, but if it turns out their isn't much interest for him, the Rams either have to get a long-term deal done (doesn't seem that likely, considering they've only had two years to do it) or they will keep him for another year before he probably jumps ship. Any loyalty bonus the Rams might have had was probably lost when reports came in that the Rams were looking at Brodney Pool.

Second, we have the lack of activity in the free agency. The Rams have been thought to be under a guise of "don't spend any of the new guy's money." I'm sure the Rams new owner is well aware about the costs of buying a football team and while I wouldn't expect the Rams to spend like it's going out of style, Mr. Khan probably wouldn't mind if they found somebody who wasn't drafted below the 6th round. I also find it funny to think that many think of Kyle Boller 2.0 as a "veteran of the offensive system," the Rams employ when the OC only has one year of experience. It's obvious Pat Shurmur (among other coaches) knows A.J, and A.J. can probably fill in the holes in his playbook memory quickly, but they aren't the same.

Fred Robbins seems like a good rotation tackle and a decent pickup. But the Rams might lose both James Hall and Leonard Little to the Saints (or another team, such as the Panthers). They'd hope to bring him back, but they've said the same thing about Atogwe and that situation has already made many scratch their heads.

Besides the two pickups, the Rams have been relatively silent. One thing I've thought about quite a bit is what would have happened if Darren Sproles hit the market. If he had come for a visit, I highly suspect the Rams wouldn't have let him leave without at least seeing a contract. But the Rams have let players that could have helped them slip away. There is no sense in throwing money away (Nate Burleson, Julius Peppers, Dunta Robinson). But players like Aaron Kampman (who signed a four year, 26 million dollar deal with 11 million guaranteed) could really help the Rams out.

I think the problem (at least with me) is that I'm hoping the Rams hit a home run in free agency. You don't need to snag Julius Peppers for a bajillion dollars a year, but retain the players who should be retained (Daniel Fells- hello?) and try and add one or two worthwhile players in free agency (Robbins could fit the bill here, but the Rams need more then just him).

It's all well and good to build through the draft; that how the good teams do it. But it isn't a sin to find help through trades and free agents. You don't need the scorched-Earth-Scott-Linehan approach to free agency to be successful.

Above all, make it count. If this draft doesn't pan out, it's game over for the coaching staff.