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Could Kellen Clemens Be Back In St. Louis For 2012?

Quarterbacks Kellen Clemens and Sam Bradford, together again in 2012?
Quarterbacks Kellen Clemens and Sam Bradford, together again in 2012?

The St. Louis Rams added Kellen Clemens late in the season as something of a desperation move. Sam Bradford was hobbled by his high ankle sprain. A.J. Feeley, the backup, had a broken thumb. It was practice squad QB Tom Brandstater and nothing else.

Clemens made three starts for the Rams. He completed 48 of 91 passes for 546 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He had a rating of 73.8, which was the highest of any Rams quarterback last season. Clemens earned some praise for his work since he was playing behind an offensive line missing most of its already mediocre starters.

His admirable play already had some talking about the possibility of re-signing him for 2012. That possibility got big boost from the Rams new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Clemens, 28, got his start in the league with the Jets. A second-round pick in 2006, his time there coincided with Brian Schottenheimer's stint as the offensive coordinator.

In his conference call with the media yesterday, Schotty made his feeling about Clemens perfectly clear.

"I'm a big fan of Kellen," Schottenheimer said. "We were involved in the drafting of Kellen a couple years back out of Oregon. He truly did a great job for us. I think our second year there he was forced into playing some and did a terrific job."

About the possibility of bringing him back to St. Louis ...

"It does not surprise me that he came in here and played well for us here with the Rams last year because he takes his craft, he takes his profession very, very seriously and he works at it," Schottenheimer said. "Again, we'll look at all the decisions and things like that as we go, but I'm a big fan of Kellen's."

That sounds like a pretty staunch endorsement. With Feeley's contract up and him being a vestigial backup from two offensive systems ago, he's not likely to stick around in 2012. Clemens is a free agent as well. It's unlikely his three starts with the Rams will make him a hot commodity on the market. The Rams could sign him to a bargain basement deal, bring him in to compete, and not be too attached should they find a better option. Of course, with Bradford learning the ins and outs of another offense, having Clemens around could be a big help, similar to the way Feeley was in Bradford's rookie season.