Rams Continue to Evaluate Options in Free Agency

Posted Mar 24, 2014

More than a week removed from the signing frenzy that swept the NFL through the first two days of the league’s free agency period, the stream of agreements has slowed considerably, though the Rams have remained active in their pursuit of veteran players.

Following their signing of guard Rodger Saffold, Head Coach Jeff Fisher predicted Saffold’s signing would not be the team’s last.

“We feel like we’re not quite done in free agency,” Fisher said. “We’ve got a couple other guys that we’re talking to.  Obviously, we’re going to address it as best we can in the draft as well. You can’t overlook the fact that we’ve got some young players on this roster that are going to get opportunities to play and compete as well.”

While the Rams have not added to their roster since that press conference, they have remained strident in their attempts to bolster their 2014 roster through the free agent process. St. Louis has looked into additions at a multitude of positions.

In the past week, the Rams have met with two-time Pro Bowl G Davin Joseph as well as G Daryn Colledge along the offensive line, and have also sought to address their wide receiver position, having hosted veteran Kenny Britt. Britt, who caught 11 passes while appearing in a limited role for the Tennessee Titans last year, played under Fisher in his first two NFL seasons, which were also the most productive campaigns of his career. He averaged more than 700 yards over that two-year span and was the Titans’ leading receiver each season.

Additionally, following the completion of QB Kellen Clemens’ two-year agreement with the San Diego Chargers, the Rams have been in search of a veteran replacement to back up QB Sam Bradford. The team visited with Shaun Hill in the past week. Hill served as the backup to Matthew Stafford in Detroit for the past three seasons. Fisher also alluded to the possibility of the Rams reaching out to former Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who was recently released following the Jets’ signing of Michael Vick. Sanchez has experience with Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who held the same position with the Jets during Sanchez’s first three NFL seasons.

Should the Rams elect to sign Sanchez, Hill or another veteran to serve under Bradford in 2014, it should come as no surprise. As a player who has experience leading an NFL offense as well as serving as a mentor to a young, talented quarterback, Hill and Sanchez fit the description of many of Fisher’s previous quarterbacks while with Tennessee and St. Louis. Fisher’s teams have had a penchant for utilizing veterans with starting experience at the backup quarterback position, including Neil O’Donnell, Kerry Collins and Clemens, among others. Over 35 career games, including 26 starts, Hill has completed 61.9 percent of his passes and has compiled a passer rating of 85.9. He has a record of 13-13 as a starter. Sanchez guided the Jets to a 33-29 record and two AFC Championship games in his four seasons as the Jets’ starting quarterback.

The visits could foretell busy weeks ahead for the Rams, who have not inked a player to a new contract outside of Saffold and outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

After solidifying his offensive line with the re-signing of Saffold, Fisher noted the improved position his team’s offense is now working from, though more additions likely await.

“We feel good about it,” Fisher said. “Much better than we did a few days ago, but we feel really good about it.”