The St. Louis Rams are still without two starting safeties after releasing Quintin Mikell and letting Craig Dahl walk as a free agent. A familiar face could be on the list of potential fixes to address at least one of the safety shortcomings on the roster: Mikell himself.
Jeff Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Sunday that the Rams have some interest in bringing back Mikell for 2013. In fact, the Rams and Mikell were in the midst of talking about a new deal before the deadline, but they were unable to reach a solution in time to keep him around.
"It's just one of those things that you have to do once you get in the process (of free agency) and you start making moves. But we have interest. The defensive staff was really happy with him last year."
Mikell was released to free up cap room to make moves like signing offensive tackle Jake Long and tight end Jared Cook. The irony here, sort of, is that those two deals have left the Rams tight against the cap, and they may not have the space to make a run at bringing Mikell back this year ... or any safety for that matter.
But wait. The Rams tried to sign Louis Delmas, the Lions safety who ended up going back there. That was while the team was also trying to work something out with Long. It would seem to indicate that the Rams have at least some plan for finding more cap room to address the safety position in free agency.
Or, they could be eyeing that cap space for other needs. The PD article suggests that a backup guard to replace Rob Turner could be on the team's shopping list.
Fortunately for the Rams, the draft is deep at safety and the free agent market features bargain basement prices. The Buccaneers lavished Dashon Goldson with cash, but elsewhere it's been lowered expectations for job-hunting safeties. Bernard Pollard only managed to get a one-year deal, for instance.
The best player out there is Kerry Rhodes, formerly of the Cardinals. He had four interceptions last season. Rhodes turns 31 in August, but he's still two years younger than Mikell. Rhodes was PFF's fourth-best safety last season, scoring solid marks in coverage and against the run. Michael Huff is still out there as well. For veterans, like really old veterans, there's Charles Woodson and Ronde Barber.
The Rams might be able to get Mikell back thanks to a very team-friendly market for safeties.