Free Agency Officially opens with the new league year this afternoon. Due to the 'legal tampering' period, many free agents have already been spoken for. However, there are many that are still 'avaliable' and Yahoo's Evan Silva thinks that the Rams will add two significant OL pieces.
First is Former Raider Stefen Wisniewski. 'Wiz', as many fans have coined him, is viewed as the best option on the market at Center.
25. Guard/center Stefen Wisniewski -- A sturdy if unspectacular starter at one of the NFL's most underrated positions, Wisniewski began his NFL career at left guard before starting at center the past three seasons in Oakland. Not yet 26 years old, Wisniewski has generated interest from the Bears and Rams. St. Louis' only two locked-in starters on the offensive line are LT Greg Robinson and LG Rodger Saffold. They have three holes to fill.
Free Agent Forecast: Rams on a four-year, $24 million contract.
Silva also projects the Rams to eventially retain RT Joe Barksdale.
30. Offensive tackle Joe Barksdale -- With King Dunlap (Chargers), Doug Free (Cowboys), Derek Newton (Texans), and Jermey Parnell (Jaguars) all accounted for, Barksdale is free agency's No. 2 remaining offensive tackle behind Bryan Bulaga. Considering their offensive line needs, the Rams can't possibly let 27-year-old Barksdale walk.
Free Agent Forecast: Rams on a five-year, $25 million contract.
Wiz would be an immediate upgrade over now former Ram Scott Wells. The price point ($6M AAV) is a bit high for my liking, but in a market flush with dollars to spend it's still not a terrible deal. The pill is easier to swallow when you consider that Wells was projected to count $6.5M against this years cap. This signing would solidify a position that has been a thorn in the Rams side for a long time.
Barksdale, on the other hand, has been somewhat of a divisive figure for Rams fans. Some, like me, attribute his regression last year to having a wholly incompetent Davin Joseph lined up next to him. Others think that he was exploited by teams who studied him on film. The reality probably lies somewhere in the middle. Barksdale has been elite at times, but has also shown growing pains. Getting him for $5M AAV in this market would be a steal.
So, if these projections ring true, we're currently looking at a Rams OL of (L-R) of Greg Robinson, Rodger Saffold, Stefen Wizniewski, (Insert RG Here), Joe Barksdale. There are some in-house options at RG, but with Jeff Fisher's penchant for building the OL through Free Agency, a Justin Blalock Signing wouldn't surprise me either. However, it would require more moves to free up cap (we're looking at you #8) as these two signings would eat up all of the team's projected cap space.