St. Louis Pre Combine News
Much has happened in St. Louis regarding the Rams in the last few days as the franchise gears up for next week’s draft combine in Indianapolis and the draft itself in April. Let’s take a look a few major notables:
- ESPN’s Adam Clayton reported on Saturday that trade rumors are surfacing to indicate the Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be discussing swapping first round picks. The highlights of the deal would be the Rams getting Buccs backup quarterback Josh Johnson and the #3 overall pick plus some later round compensation in exchange for the #1. Why this makes sense: Rams have many needs to fill so stocking up with another thrower and extra picks allows them to do that. As I mentioned in my report card post, the Rams have drafted high on the defensive side of the ball the last two years, going that route a third straight season when you have needs on the offensive side doesn’t seem logical and paying #1 overall pick money to a defensive lineman strikes many as ludicrous. Why this doesn’t make sense: Say you trade down to get one of the three projected first round quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen, Sam Bradford or the rising Colt McCoy, these guys are all coming off injuries and will come at a high-price tag though not as high as Suh’s number. Speaking of Suh, what if he is the second coming of a league-dominant defensive tackle. The Rams defense wasn’t exactly stopping the world the last few seasons either.
- Take the For Sale Sign Down? – Chip Rosenbloom and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez, the children of late owner Georgia Frontiere have struck a deal with Illinois businessman Shahid Khan to buy out their 60 percent stake in the club. All indications are that Khan wants the team to stay in St. Louis and that his assuming ownership will not mean any clamps on spending that needs to be done to improve a team that has only mustered six wins in the last three years. While on the surface this seems an occasion for much celebration, minority owner Stan Kroenke and his 40 percent ownership stake have rights of first refusal on the deal and 60 days to let his intentions be known. Further, reports are that Khan has some tax issues looming or at least somewhere in his not too distant past, which may make the league’s finance committee – which must approve the deal a little nervous.
- There were dueling reports from media outlets last week as to the status of current quarterback Marc Bulger. Some local media had reported that Bulger had cleaned out his locker in preparation for his release from the organization. Others later reported that Bulger had not in fact cleared his gear, but rather it was done for him equipment staff as part of standard operating procedure for all the lockers. Steve Spagnuolo didn’t help matters when he spoke to the media last week and gave a less than ringing endorsement of Marc Bulger as his starter in 2010. The best Spagnuolo could muster is that Bulger is one “all the scenarios” he sees for 2010. One of the scenarios Billy Devaney certainly sees is the $8 million dollars he’d have to pay Bulger to be on his roster in the upcoming season. That’s a heavy price tag for a guy who has had trouble staying healthy. Let’s be honest here. Bulger, when healthy, has pretty decent numbers and skill. And he would totally make sense if what the Rams were merely remodeling. The Rams need a complete tear down and rebuilding and paying Bulger $8 million is pretty steep.Maybe the Rams hold on and try to get more compensation for Bulger, but I can’t see why the prudent decision is to have #10 under center, even as a transition. Well, I could if I were sold on any of the Clausen, Bradford or McCoy trio, and right now I’m not.
- Expecting to lose Daniel Fells and Randy McMichael this offseason, the Rams picked up former Buffalo Bills tight end Derek Fine off waivers earlier this week.
Next up, who to watch for at key Rams need positions in the upcoming NFL Combine.