Rams Sign Three Free Agents

Posted Mar 26, 2014

The Rams agreed to terms with defensive lineman Alex Carrington, cornerback Greg Reid and linebacker Etienne Sabino.

In a move to solidify their depth along the defensive line, the Rams took their first plunge into the free agent pool on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with defensive lineman Alex Carrington.  Carrington, who missed much of last season to injury, had previously played all four of his NFL seasons with Buffalo.

The 6’5”, 284-pound Carrington has experience playing as a defensive end in Buffalo’s 3-4 defensive scheme, but figures to provide the Rams with a known quantity at defensive tackle to play behind veteran Kendall Langford and third-year tackle Michael Brockers in the Rams’ 4-3 defense. Langford and Brockers were part of one of the league’s most productive defensive lines in 2013.

PHOTOS: Through the Years: Alex Carrington

The Rams have had recent success transitioning 3-4 ends to 4-3 tackles, as it mirrors the move that Langford made upon joining the Rams following four seasons with the Miami Dolphins. In his second year with St. Louis, Langford turned in the most productive of his six NFL seasons, registering career-bests in tackles (49) and sacks (5.0).

The Rams ranked third in sacks with 53 in 2013, including 46 from their four-man front. A former third-round draft choice out of Arkansas State, Carrington represents an asset who could offer an occasional interior pass rush as well performing capably against the run.

Performing primarily in a reserve role with Buffalo, Carrington has four sacks and 53 total tackles in his four seasons with the Bills. This fall, Carrington could serve in a role held last year by defensive tackles Jermelle Cudjo and Matt Conrath.

Prior to agreeing to terms with Carrington, the Rams had taken a deliberate approach to free agency, as they became the last team to sign a free agent who was on another team’s 53-man roster last year. Instead of joining the signing frenzy that saw many veteran stars change teams within the first 48 hours of the new NFL year, the Rams have instead steered toward prudent, under-the-radar additions that possess affordable upside.

In addition to Carrington, the Rams made a pair of low-profile moves in the past week, agreeing to terms with linebacker Etienne Sabino and former Florida State cornerback Greg Reid.

PHOTOS: Through the Years: Etienne Sabino | Through the Years: Greg Reid

In addressing the media following the Rams’ re-signing of guard Rodger Saffold, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher emphasized the team’s commitment to adding via free agency. The Rams’ most recent moves reveal the latest step in a consistent trend under Fisher and General Manager Les Snead. As was the case with the signing of Langford prior to the 2012 season, the Rams have managed to once again build upon the perimeter of their roster’s youthful core by supplementing that young talent with high-value free agent additions.

The team’s recent success with such signings gives reason to give considerable notice to the addition of Carrington. Coinciding with his new role within the Rams’ 4-3 defense, Langford saw his production level increase significantly over the past two seasons. Carrington could take on a similar career trajectory as he transitions to St. Louis in 2014.