The doors open on NFL free agency in slightly more than a week. The St. Louis Rams are expected to be active in free agency, according to the new personnel cabal at Rams Park, GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher. One name that continues to be linked to the Rams is Tennessee defensive lineman Jason Jones.
Just how much could the Rams be paying to sign Jones? Much less than you think, says friend of TST Evan Silva over at Rotoworld.
Silva predicts that the Rams will sign Jones to a four-year, $28 million contract. Jones would finally give the Rams a threatening three technique the last three coaching staffs were never able to find. He has 15.5 sacks over his last four years of play, finding most of his success on the inside.
It's a bargain, says Silva:
Though built angularly for an inside pass rusher, Jones is much more Darnell Dockett than Justin Tuck. He is a one-gap penetrator with an explosive lower half (4.67 forty, 10'3" broad jump) and his best football ahead of him.
The Titans, after Fisher left, moved Jones outside to defensive end. The move did not work. He struggled there in 2011, and figures to be a relative bargain in free agency because of it.
Right now, the Rams have about $10 million in cap space, according to Rams COO Kevin Demoff. They could easily find more room by targeting a few restructures (Jason Smith) or making some outright cuts.
One area for potential savings comes along the defensive line. Fred Robbins is due $3.75 million in 2012, and he turns 35 later this month.
Youth and penetration are big needs inside for the Rams, who are set with Chris Long and Robert Quinn on the outside.