The Rams roster is littered with free agents. In part 2 of this series, we touched on which of unrestricted free agents the team should re-sign. Part 3 will focus on the free agents of the restricted variety. 2015 salaries are provided (via Over the Cap)
Rodney McLeod ($2.4M)
Rodney McLeod has proved a lot of doubters wrong during his time with the Rams - myself included. Until this season, I wasn't a fan. McLeod has had his fair share of mishaps in previous years, but he really tightened things up during the 2015 season.
He graded out as the second best defender in the Rams secondary according to Pro Football Focus and has played his way into a long term contract as a starter at FS. Will he move with the team to LA? Or will the Rams decide to allocate their funds elsewhere?
If you'd have told me at the start of the 2015 season that I'd be lobbying for McLeod to get a long term extension... I'd have told you that you were nuts. Yet here I am.
Verdict: Lock him Up
Cory Harkey ($1.5M)
Harkey had developed into a Swiss Army knife for the Rams offense. He's not the flashiest player on the team, but he's a key cog in Fisherball. He can play FB, be an in-line TE, and has the hands required to catch the odd pass here and there.
We all want Jared Cook gone - even if none of us expect it to happen. The depressing part is that the Rams could easily fill Cook's production with Lance Kendricks and Harkey - while improving the run game.
Verdict- STAY, if only for Gurley's sake
Benny Cunningham ($585K)
Rams Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel has turned Cunningham into one of the most productive kick returners in the NFL. In 2015, Benny averaged 28.6 yards per return - good for 4th in the NFL.
Verdict - STAY
Darren Bates and Chase Reynolds ($585K)
Another pair of Fassel's all stars, Bates and Reynolds have become what Jeff Fisher calls 'Core Special Teamers'. It takes a special breed of player to play special teams in the NFL, and these two both have what it takes. Fassel and Fisher both like what these two bring to the table, so they will both likely be back unless they get a big contract offer from outside the organization.
Verdict - STAY
Case Keenum ($585K)
I don't care what Jeff Fisher and Les Snead say about Keenum's ability to lead this team. I don't want a QB who can't average 200 yards per game starting for my team. If you're still drinking the Fisher kool-aid.... I pity you.
The reality is that he's a journeyman QB better suited as a backup or 3rd string QB. He's not going to take this team to the playoffs, regardless of how dominant the defense is.
Verdict - GO
Cody Davis ($585K)
At this point, Davis is a known commodity. He's a backup caliber player who has struggled to get on the field to make an impact. He can be upgraded fairly easily via the draft.
Verdict - GO