It's been a few weeks since the divorce between the Rams and O.J. Atogwe. The Rams lost a good player and leader when he signed with the Redskins. He might not have been the best safety in the NFL, but the Rams lost a starting caliber player with him gone. To me the worst thing about this move was the timing issue, the Rams would have had to pay him a lot of money, but would another year been that bad?
The Rams now have three safety's under contract for the 2011 season. Craig Dahl, James Butler, and rookie undrafted safety Darian Stewart. I'm sure I'm not the only person who is worried about this group. However, these players are Spags guys, know the system, and Spags think he can work with them. Going into the season it's looking like the Rams will start Dahl and Butler.
Dahl beat out James Butler for the starting spot for strong safety. Butler played more of a backup role and contributed on special teams last season. He started at SS in 2009 when he was brought here by Spags, to star alongside with atogwe. Darian Stewart played more in nickel situations, but was a good surprise last season, and could have a bright future.
The bad thing for the Rams is that, because of free agency combined with a weak draft class, finding a starting caliber safety will be difficult. So how will the Rams upgrade at safety? I think Jerome Murphy could end up playing safety, since being a slot corner didn't go well for him, plus he played safety at USF. With all the needs the Rams have safety has to be high up there, but don't be surprised if they don't select a DB in the first three rounds.