The St. Louis Rams key off-season additions.
Very busy offeseason
ST.LOUIS,MO-Its been a very interesting and busy off-season for the St. Louis Rams. Coming into the off-season, there were a lot questions on how this team was going to turn their fortunes around coming off a disappointing 6-10 season that saw the Rams lose their franchise quarterback Sam Bradford for the entire 2014 season with his second torn ACL injury. Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead, mentioned that Sam Bradford would be the Rams quarterback for the 2015 season. For a while that look like the case, with both Fisher and Snead denying reports of trade talks and the free agency period looming near. It looked like it would be another year for Rams fans hoping to see Sam Bradford emerge and more importantly stay healthy, and add more depth on this team in hopes for a playoff run in 2015. On March 10th 2015, a trade that shook the NFL and the St. Louis Rams happened.
The St. Louis Rams traded Sam Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles. In addition to to Foles the Rams also got a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft, and a second-round pick for the 2016 NFL draft. The Eagles also picked up a fifth-round pick from the Rams in the deal. If Sam Bradford doesn't start 8 games they will get a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft,or if he gets re-injured they will get a 2016 third-round pick from the Rams. Now is this an upgrade to the QB position for Rams? You can say from a health standpoint yes. We all know Foles did get injured last season with a fractured collarbone but, before he got injured he has a small but impressive career stats. The 6 foot 6,QB from Arizona has had 24 career starts with a 15-9 record, throwing for 241.2 ypg (yards per game) and 46 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. If the Rams offensive line can keep Foles upright, if he can stay healthy and, if he continues to produce and get better the Rams may have found the franchise quarterback they have been looking for.
Do you think?
Do you think Nick Foles can lead the Rams to the playoffs next season?
The other big signings the Rams made were to add depth to an already dangerous defense, when they agreed to contracts with outside linebacker Akeem Ayers and defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Akeem Ayers was selected 39th overall in the second-round by the Tennessee Titans. In the 2014 season Ayers was then traded to the New England Patriots and was part of the Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. In four of the nine games he started for the Patriots, Ayers had 20 tackles (16 solo), 4 sacks, and 1 interception. Ayers signed a two-year deal, $6 million. Akeem Ayers might be going into a position battle with other outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar going into training camp.
The next signing the Rams made was getting former first-rounder Nick Fairley. Fairley agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with a chance to make $7.5 million with incentives according to NFL media insider Ian Rapoport. Standing at 6 foot 5 and 291 pounds, the big defensive tackle becomes apart of would could be the best defensive line in the NFL. Nick Fairley was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2011 from Auburn. Boy Jeff Fisher loves his Auburn Tigers...anyway I digress. While with the Lions Fairley had 13.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and a safety in his first 4 years. Now there has been some disappointment, staying healthy and keeping his weight down have been an issue for the talented first round defensive tackle. If he can stay disciplined with his weight and become reach his potential in this one year prove deal, he makes this defensive line even more of a nightmare for offensive coordinators this season.
Now the Rams also made moves in house as well. Resigning THE Lance Kendricks and WR Kenny Britt. Lance Kendricks agreed to a four-year, $18.5 million contract. In his first four years with the Rams, Kendricks has played 62 games, 129 receptions, 1,388 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He has become a red zone threat for the Rams and looks to continue to add to this new quarterback lead offense this season.
The next move the Rams made was resigning the leader of the receiving core Kenny Britt. He agreed to a two-year, $14 million contract. Britt had very impressive numbers his first year as a Ram as well. He played all 16 games, had 48 receptions, 748 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Now what most impressed me was the impact he had the young wide receivers in the locker room, most notably Brian Quick. Britt became a mentor to Quick and that turned into Brian Quick having his best season as a Ram. Now while signing his contract, Kenny Britt made it known what the goals for the team are and his individual goals are coming into this season. The goals are to make it to the playoffs and try to win the Super Bowl. Britt wants to make it to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.
Now with these key additions and resigned players, the future looks bright for this young, hungry football team. Their goals are clear, compete and win in one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the league, get to and through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. Obviously free agency is still going on and we still have the NFL draft coming up. Still along road to travel but, this team has so far improved themselves in the off-season. Make no mistake it won't be easy but this team is making some noise, and let's not forget 2014 is the year of the Ram.