The Los Angeles Rams have plenty of personnel decisions to make prior to kickoff of the 2016 NFL season. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, where they’ve got ten players set to hit free agency. Their secondary could sustain the biggest hit if they’re unable to retain starters Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Mark Barron, and Rodney McLeod.
The Rams will most certainly put forth an effort to lock up most, potentially all, of the aforementioned secondary players. But if the they’re not able to reach an agreement, they’ll look to April’s NFL Draft or free agency to shore things up.
And there’s one recently released free safety the Rams may show interest in.
On Tuesday, in an effort to free up cap space [$6.5mil to be exact], the Tennessee Titans released nine year veteran safety Michael Griffin. His name is all but unfamiliar amongst the Rams’ coaching staff.
* Jeff Fisher selected Griffin with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 draft. Fisher would remain his head coach for four seasons [until 2010].
* In between stints with the Rams - in 2013 - Gregg Williams was the Senior Assistant Defensive Coach in Tennessee.
* Chuck Cecil, who’s currently the Rams’ defensive back's coach, held the same position with the Titans from 2007-2008. He was promoted to Defensive Coordinator for the 2009-2010 seasons.
If there were a set of coaches who knew the pulse on Griffin, and what he’s capable of doing, it’s this trio in Los Angeles. And it’s possible the notion of a reunion has already crossed the coaching staff’s collective mind.
Shortly after being released, Griffin made it clear that teams were showing interest:
I hope it doesn’t stop here. I mean I had a couple coaches already shoot me text messages and tell me to give them a call. People from different teams, former coaches of mine.
For Fisher and Cecil, they’ll have plenty of positives to recollect of Griffin. In his nine years in the league, Griffin put together Pro Bowl worthy seasons twice [2008 and 2010], while both coaches were still in Tennessee.
Here's a quick look at Griffin’s career stats, via NFL.com:
It remains to be seen if the Rams, or their coaches, are indeed the ones reaching out to Griffin, as no team is allowed to "officially" contact him until 5pm ET next Tuesday, when his release hits the league’s transaction wire. But Jeff Fisher, specifically, has never shied away from bringing former players to the Rams; having already done so with Cortland Finnegan, Jared Cook, and Kenny Britt.
If rumors of the Rams’ serious interest in Griffin begin to swirl, it could be telling of their intentions for current, now free agent, safety Rodney McLeod.