In what came as no surprise to the football world, the St. Louis Rams have
Signed 2nd overall pick OT Jason Smith to a contract. Although the official terms of the contract have not been revealed to the public, I would expect the deal to be somewhere in the 6 year, $60 million area given the last few contracts signed by other 2nd overall draft choices:
2008: Chris Long (6 year, $56.5 million)
2007: Calvin Johnson (6 year, $64 million)
2006: Reggie Bush (6 year, $51 million)
The signing also means that St. Louis now has all seven draft choices under contract, giving the Rams the pleasure of entering camp with zero holdouts whether it be veterans or rookies. The contract also helps QB Marc Bulger breathe a little easier knowing that the Rams are slowly putting together the puzzle that is their offensive line. Over the last couple seasons Bulger has been one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL thanks to an offensive line that rotates more than the merry go round at your local playground. Over the past two seasons alone Bulger has seen a fair amount of names along the offensive line. While most quarterbacks have the privilege of seeing the same five to seven names a season as they scan their offensive line, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that Bulger may have went into games with no clue who would be playing where along his line. As any Rams fan will tell you, this caused Bulger to shy away from setting his feet during throws and ultimately turned him into a very timid QB; nothing like the Bulger that threw for 24 TDs and 4301 Yds in 2006. And with the huge 6 year, $65 million deal that he signed in July 2007, Rams fans couldn’t be any more eager to see the old Bulger back.
This of course, is where Smith comes in. Smith brings a very athletic and energetic presence to an offensive line that has been the exact opposite lately. He comes with an almost unfair expectation (that being filling the shoes of Orlando Pace), but if any rookie could do it, I believe it is this kid. However, the Pace comparisons will have to wait awhile, because it appears the Rams will be starting out Smith at RT and moving Alex Barron over to LT to block Bulger’s blindside. Only time will tell if the Rams are on their way to solidifying their offensive line.
Update 4:39 P.M. :I have heard that the deal will reach a maximum of $62 million with around $33 million in guaranteed money.