The NFL free agent market has slowed to a crawl as teams shift their attention to the 2012 NFL Draft. It happens every year. The players left on the open market at this point are depth guys, role players and a handful of players looking for a rebound. There are indications that the St. Louis Rams may still add help via free agency, though it may depend on what happens in the draft. If Les Snead is still looking for help at a few positions of need, the Rams have some options.
Let's take a look.
Marcus McNeil, OT - A rebound candidate for sure, given his recent injury history. He will be on a team before the season starts, unless front offices are finding out something in their medical evaluations. His back is what's kept him out of action, which could be a lingering problem given the nature of the position. The Rams definitely need help at tackle. Signing McNeill on the cheap and finding youth in the draft would be a big help to the line this season.
Leroy Hill, OLB - Offseason pot possession chargers were dropped in March, clearing Hill from an off-field headache. If healthy, the former Seahawk is a solid weakside linebacker.
Rocky McIntosh, OLB - Lost in Washington's 3-4 defense, the former second-round pick could be an above-average option for the weakside. He's had one team show interest in free agency, the Dolphins.
Chase Blackburn, LB - A depth guy who could start on the outside, Blackburn's price got inflated a little thanks to his role with the Giants last season.
Marcus Thomas, DT - The Broncos were talking about a reunion with Thomas, but nothing has happened since the end of March. Thomas turns 27 at the start of the season, and would give the Rams a good run stopper next to Kendall Langford in the middle.
There are a couple more waves of free agency. After the draft, teams may make some more roster moves based on their draft picks. Then, there is always August, when teams start dropping players during and after training camp. The Rams should be able to round out their depth chart with some low-risk, low-cost signings in the next waves of free agency.
Andre Carter, DE - The Rams don't really need to spend big on a 33-year old pass rusher, but if they wanted to replace James Hall in the lineup, Carter would be a good get. He'll command too much money for anyone to bring him in for depth after racking up 9.5 sacks last season.