The St. Louis Rams will re-sign free agent wide receiver Mark Clayton as soon as the NFL lockout ends, whenever that may be. Apparently, that news is burning up the wires today, but it shouldn't come as any big surprise. In the days prior to the lockout, Jim Thomas at the PD reported that the Rams were close to a deal with Clayton.
Then, the lockout happened, hours after that report first surfaced. Clayton and the Rams did not get a deal done in time, but they won't have very far to go once the lockout ends and they can get back to work.
I don't think any of us expected Clayton to take off the way he did early last season, establishing that kind of connection with Sam Bradford. It's interesting to think about what the offense would have been like with a full games of him. Eventually, teams would key their defensive backs onto him, forcing the Rams to find other options in the receiving game. But there's no doubt the offense would have been able to produce more with another reliable pass catcher.
Clayton's return provides some measure of insurance to this year's team. He and Donnie Avery back on the roster automatically upgrade the receivers. However, questions persist as to whether or not that group of players can stay healthy for a full season...or even return to action at the same place they were last year.