In less than 24 hours from now, the floodgates open as we begin 2016 NFL Free Agency. So while we're all excited to see the Rams retain some key talents and hopefully add a couple more, it's worth looking back at the last four years under Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead.
In: OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (story), CB Cortland Finnegan (story), DE William Hayes (story), DT Kendall Langford (story), OT Barry Richardson (story), WR Steve Smith (story), C Scott Wells (story)
Out: CB Ron Bartell, G Jacob Bell, C Jason Brown, WR Mark Clayton, DE James Hall, P Donnie Jones, CB Justin King, WR Brandon Lloyd, RB Cadillac Williams
The key effort here was the beginning of the turnover on the offensive line and secondary. The Finnegan move worked out in year one, but it wasn't for long.
Of course free agency in 2012 was entirely washed over with the RGIII trade and a draft class that was 10 players deep with four coming in the first two rounds alone.
In: TE Jared Cook (story), OT Jake Long (story)
Out: WR Danny Amendola, S Craig Dahl, CB Bradley Fletcher, WR Brandon Gibson, OT Wayne Hunter, RB Steven Jackson, S Quintin Mikell, OT Barry Richardson, WR Steve Smith
A smaller FA class with two big names punctuated the turnover. The Steven Jackson era was over and Snisher was gearing up for QB Sam Bradford with a new target and blindside protector in free agency with a trade up for Tavon Austin in the 2013 NFL Draft.
In: WR Kenny Britt (story), DL Alex Carrington (story), QB Shaun Hill (story), G Davin Joseph (story)
Out: QB Kellen Clemens, CB Cortland Finnegan, G Harvey Dahl, G Shelley Smith, S Darian Stewart, G Chris Williams
At this point, the Rams were easing into BPA comfort in the draft. Greg Robinson was taken with the 2nd overall pick to...I dunno. To backup Jake Long and maybe play guard and who knows what the reality was supposed to be. Either way, it didn't make a ton of sense and it didn't end up mattering much since Long got injured mid-season leaving the door open for GRob to take over at left tackle. Of course the bigger issue was that after losing Bradford in the middle of 2013, he reinjured his ACL in the preseason.
It would be the last we saw of Sam in a Rams uniform, but the free agent market wasn't necessarily the response to the issue that draft was or will be.
In: OLB Akeem Ayers (story), DT Nick Fairley (story), QB Nick Foles (story), QB Case Keenum (story), OL Garrett Reynolds (story)
Out: OT Joseph Barksdale, QB Sam Bradford, QB Shaun Hill, G Davin Joseph, OT Jake Long, DT Kendall Langford, RB Zac Stacy, C Scott Wells
Much like the RGIII draft trade three years prior, the Bradford-Foles deal defined the Rams' offseason, though some might point to RB Todd Gurley.
Clearly, free agency has not been a great avenue for the Rams to add quality long-term talent. Of course, you can say that about most teams.
So perhaps this year, let's lean back a bit on free agency. Maybe it doesn't matter who the Rams sign. We've signed QBs and traded QBs and stocked up on both lines and filled out the linebacking corps and done everything except hit running backs and cornerbacks since we overdrafted them in the Snisher era. Maybe it's time we don't freak out about free agency since the only angle that matters is which of our guys we re-sign and who leaves with Janoris.
Or, at approximately 3:58pm tomorrow, we can all sit together on the edge of our chairs and go face first into the madness.
I'll see you guys then.