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Free agency: What's next for the Rams?

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After signing Mike Sims-Walker, who else might the St. Louis Rams be looking to catch in free agency?
After signing Mike Sims-Walker, who else might the St. Louis Rams be looking to catch in free agency?

Compressed into a week, NFL free agency has provided the kind of offseason theater that used to belong only to the NFL Draft. It's been a busy for the St. Louis Rams and the rest of the NFL, as the bags under my eyes will attest. Free agent and trade rumors won't slow down today. Plenty of teams and players still seek the perfect match, be it money, the chance to win a championship or play for a beloved mentor. The St. Louis Rams have a few cards left to play too. Let's take a look at what we else we might expect from the Rams.

Backup running back

Obviously, this is the biggest move left for GM Billy Devaney. Only the question of who and when remain. Jason Snelling might be the most coveted prize, for the Rams at any rate. He's said to be deciding between the Rams and the Atlanta Falcons. Michael Turner seems to be closer to handing things over to a successor than Steven Jackson, but Jackson's future with Rams beyond 2011 is unclear. The Rams, we hear, are getting a little impatient with Snelling's vacillation. 

Ronnie Brown entered the conversation, again, last night. So did Jerious Norwood, who would be less a backup and more of a specialist; however, he could take a 5-8 carries from Jackson, if healthy. Brown, Norwood and Snelling represent just a few of the options out there. Jerome Harrison, late of the Eagles, was on the Rams interest list, and we have heard nothing about him for a few days...hmm. 

Don't be surprised if the Rams bring in more than one running back. 

Taking care of your own

A deal with Mark Clayton once seemed like a foregone conclusion. Then, head coach Steve Spagnuolo revealed his knee wasn't in a state the Rams were comfortable with yet. With Mike Sims-Walker on board now, Clayton might have to look at his other options. 

Bringing back Adam Goldberg as a backup offensive lineman is also on the priority list. After signing Harvey Dahl and restructuring Jacob Bell's contract, the Rams have their starting guards, but would love to have some insurance for the offensive line. 

Gary Gibson was once a near lock to return. After the Rams signed free agent DT Justin Bannan, that seems unlikely. It's probably just Darell Scott and Jermelle Cudjo in the DT rotation behind Bannan and Fred Robbins

Haven't heard much talk about Laurent Robinson, have you? A free agent, Robinson will probably catch on as teams look to round out their depth charts, looking for a player and hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. 

Saying goodbye

So far, LB Larry Grant is the only player from last year's roster the Rams have released. He won't be the last. 

Horse trading

Last night, Billy Devaney shipped OG John Greco to the Browns for friendly wave, and maybe a seventh-round pick, if Greco starts. Every year of his tenure as the Rams general manager, Devaney has managed to move a couple guys for late round picks. Don't be surprised if the Rams make another trade between now and the mid-point of the preseason. With their group of wide receivers, and some of them showing out well in camp, a couple of them could easily fetch a late-round pick from teams looking to round out their depth charts with a young player capable of breaking out this season. That's how the Rams acquired Brandon Gibson

Linebackers

Brady Poppinga lands in St. Louis today for a free tour of the Russell Training Center, as well as free medical examination (no small value in today's health care system). Even if Poppinga fails to sign a contract with the Rams by the end of the day, it seems obvious the Rams will find another linebacker to bring in via free agency. 

Hang onto your hats, because it figures to be another busy day.