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Grading the St. Louis Rams’ First Week in Free Agency

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We’re now one week removed from the official start to the 2015 NFL free agency period. Are the St. Louis Rams better now than they were seven days ago?

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams entered the 2015 NFL free agency period approximately $6.7 million under the salary cap.  With that amount of cash to spend, it was hard to fathom the team making any "splashy" moves or player acquisitions.

But that didn’t stop them.  Shortly after the free agency period began, the Rams and Eagles swapped quarterbacks, providing the team with $12.985 million dollars in cap relief.  In doing so, the Rams also moved up into the 4th round of the upcoming NFL Draft [while giving the Eagles their 5th], and they also earned a 2nd round pick in the 2016 draft.

And that was just the start.  Other notable [re]signings were:


A few notable names of players no longer with the team are defensive tackle Kendall Langford, left tackle Jake Long, and center Scott Wells.  Releasing those three players alone created about $18 million in cap space, and afforded them the opportunity to make several of the aforementioned acquisitions.

Prior to free agency, most would probably agree that offensive line, quarterback, and wide receiver - in some order - were the Rams’ top three priorities.  And depending on your stance on the QB trade, they’ve made some progress with two out of the three positions.

But how much better are the Rams a week later?  Heading into free agency, offensive line - without question - was the team’s most glaring area of need.  They’ve lost two starters, and have yet to [re]sign anyone to fill holes at center, guard, and potentially tackle -- if they’re unable to re-sign Joseph Barksdale.  The Rams have been linked to free agents Stefen Wisniewski and Justin Blalock, citing visits...with no dates, no times, no word.

Over at CBS Sports, Pete Prisco provided 32 grades for the 32 NFL teams.  Here’s his take on the Rams:

Their big move was trading Sam Bradford to the Eagles for Nick Foles and draft picks, which is an odd move, although getting picks helps. Signing Nick Fairley as backup depth on a one-year deal is a good move. Akeem Ayers will help the linebacker group. They were smart to bring back receiver Kenny Britt.
Grade: C-


There’s still plenty of time for the Rams to make the moves necessary to strengthen their roster and round out the depth chart.  They’ve also still got 5 picks at their disposal in the draft.

But for now, with a week of free agency under their belt, how are you grading their start?