Happy Monday, Rams fans.
Is the off-season beginning to drag to everyone else? It's going to be a long time before another football game is played, but never fear - the 2013 scouting combine is here. Well, almost.
Following the pre-NFL talent show is free agency, where the real fun kicks off. It's highly unlikely that the Rams will make a splash comparable to last season, when they added three high-profile starters, but they will make moves. Unfortunately, those moves will also lead to the departure of some of their own more notable players.
How will the Rams approach everything that the off-season entails? Smack those links to find out.
Snead, Rams will build through "wants," not needs - Ever the optimist, general manager Les Snead takes the same approach in every year's draft. He views each class as deep with talent and preaches that winning football teams build by drafting wanted great players, not needed lesser players. So, that's what the Rams' problem has been.
Young's release impacts Amendola - Although Titus Young never had a chance to produce on the field or otherwise, his presence did - for a short time - give some leverage to the Rams as they prepared to discuss dollars with free agent Danny Amendola. Now, with Austin Pettis, Brian Quick and Chris Givens being the only receivers currently under contract, it goes without saying that St. Louis has some big decisions to make in the next couple of months. Brandon Gibson will almost certainly wear a different uniform next season.
32 possible scenarios for franchise tags - Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk put together a list of all 32 NFL teams and what impending free agents could possibly receive the costly franchise tender. St. Louis' Danny Amendola has become one of the best slot receivers in football, but his injury history could deter the Rams from guaranteeing him so much money. Some players on Rams fans' radars, such as tight ends Jared Cook and Delanie Walker, may not reach the open market in 2013.
Must-keep free agents in the NFC West - William Hayes, who recorded 7 sacks in 2012, was the Rams' best rotational third defensive end since Leonard Little and James Hall forced Chris Long to the bench in 2009. Retaining him would allow the team to address other, more pressing facets of the defense without getting weaker up front. Alan Branch, whose career began much slower than many had thought, has become a force in Seattle's overly-crowded defensive line.
Five greatest needs for each NFC West team - There are no surprises of needed positions for the St. Louis Rams; however, some might disagree with ranking wide receiver No. 1. In a draft class such as this one, the Rams, whose only 16-game starter along the offensive line was Barry Richardson, may be better off looking for a new big man in the trenches. Safety and outside linebacker are - obviously - included.
All of the free agents you can handle - Interested in playing "arm-chair GM" but drawing a blank for the last few spots on the roster? Have a look at some, er, all of the free agents for 2013. The Rams currently have 18 players who may soon walk.