Offseason Overview: Can the Rams Recover From a Nightmare 2007?

Bulger sacked last season

Franchise Player: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• C/G Andy McCollum started at left guard and center during the ‘07 season, but hasn’t made a decision whether he wants to play another season.

• S Hanik Milligan played mostly on special teams when he was on the field.

• LB Raonall Smith is a solid special teams player and backup linebacker, but ended the ‘07 season on injured reserve with a knee injury.

• T/G Todd Steussie wants to return for another season, but it’s unknown where he fits on the line. Suffered a broken foot at the end of the preseason and came back for the final six games of the season.

• TE Aaron Walker is a decent blocker who saw his season end because of a shoulder injury. Likely not back after addition of Anthony Becht.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• RB Rich Alexis (not tendered as ERFA) was signed late in the season after being cut in training camp.

• DE Trevor Johnson (not tendered as RFA) was a situational player that is expendable.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• G Jacob Bell: UFA Titans; $36M/6 yrs, $7M SB/$6M base salaries guaranteed 08-09; 2008 cap: $3.167M.

• TE Anthony Becht: UFA Buccaneers; $2M/2 yrs, $270,000 SB; 2008 cap: $865,000.

• K Josh Brown: UFA Seahawks; $14.2M/5 yrs, $4M SB; 2008 cap: $1.8M.

• WR Reche Caldwell: UFA Redskins; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

• QB Trent Green: FA Dolphins; $8.9M/3 yrs, $2.1 SB/$900,000 reporting bonus; 2008 cap: $2.6M.

• CB David Macklin: UFA Redskins; $770,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• S Jerome Carter: Not tendered as RFA; $520,000/1 yr, no SB; 2008 cap: $445,000.

• T/G Adam Goldberg: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

• OT Brandon Gorin: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

• DE James Hall: FA; had been released by Rams; 2 yrs, $3M/2 yrs, $700,000 SB.

• RB Travis Minor: Potential UFA; $755,000/1 yr, $20,000 SB.

• S Oshiomogho Atogwe: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.

• C Brett Romberg: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

PLAYERS LOST

• G Milford Brown: UFA Panthers; $5.5M/2 yrs, $1M SB.

• WR Isaac Bruce (released).

• TE Dominique Byrd (released).

• LB Brandon Chillar: UFA Packers; $5.4M/2 yrs, $550,000 SB/$1M RB.

• QB Gus Frerotte (released).

• PK Jeff Wilkins (retired).

Just about everything that could have went wrong for the Rams in 2007 – did. The team was snake bitten by injuries to big name players, and the offensive line was ravaged early in the year and never recovered. It all equaled out to a nightmare 3-13 season that landed them the second pick in the draft. It was with that pick the team chose Chris Long, DE from Virginia to start the rebuild of their D-line. The next big move was simply to get healthy, and two players that should be back and 100 percent are OL Orlando Pace and RB Steven Jackson. Those two players alone being ready to go should give the Rams a big boost.

The team parted ways with popular WR Issac Bruce, but brought in marginal WR Reche Caldwell to take his spot, and grabbed some other free agents like QB Trent Green, G Jacob Bell, K Josh Brown and TE Anthony Becht. If these players pan out, and QB Marc Bulger can stay healthy, the Rams can be competitive again in the NFC West. Despite being 3-13, many felt this was a better team than their record, so look for St.Louis to be much closer, if not .500 again in 2008.

Offseason Grade to Date: C+


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One Response to “Offseason Overview: Can the Rams Recover From a Nightmare 2007?”

  1. With the Rams lines being healthy I can almost guarantee a better season in ’08 for St. Louis. Healthy lines gives Marc Bulger time in the pocket, gives Steven Jackson holes to run up his numbers. A healthy Rams team is a dominating Rams team. Watch them being on top of the NFC West or at least giving the Seahawks a run for their money.

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