Free agency will be getting started here within the next week, and here at Ramblin’ Fan we are going to help get you prepared for the drama that is to come. Here are five defensive free agents the Rams should consider when the free agency period hits.
Adding Byrd to the Rams secondary would be huge and would greatly improve the secondary. Unfortunately the chances of the Rams being able to afford the pro bowl safety is unlikely unless the Rams make some cuts and fail to re-sign Rodger Saffold.
Byrd is the ball-hawking safety that the Rams are missing in their secondary. The second rated safety on Pro Football focus had four interceptions last season as well as a forced fumble. Byrd is only 27 years old with a lot of football left in him. He is a playmaker and a difference maker. Byrd would certainly get the Rams defense over the hump.
If the Rams can’t get to Byrd, Ward is a pretty good backup plan. The Pro Bowl safety is the physical kind of safety that the Rams are looking for. He had two interceptions last season as well as the third most tackles.
Ward is also only 27, like Byrd, but unlike Byrd, Ward comes at a cheaper price that the Rams could afford. Ward may not be the best free agent safety, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t make just as big of a difference.
With now Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams having a role in the Titans defense, Vernor had a career year and is now due for a pay-day. There is no question Williams will try to lobby for Verner to join him in St. Louis.
Once again the Rams are going to need to free up some cap space for Vernor to come to St. Louis and the chances of re-signing Saffold will go down, but it won’t be impossible. However Vernor is a difference maker as he had five interceptions last season and was on the verge of shut down corner.
CB Aqib Talib
Talib when healthy can be one of the best cornerbacks in the league, arguably a shut down corner. The problem is that he has a problem staying on the field. If the Patriots don’t re-sign him, there is no doubt he would have an impact on the Rams secondary.
Talib had four interceptions along with a forced fumble in 2013 not to mention he single-handedly shut down Saints tight-end Jimmy Graham and Broncos wide receiver Demariyus Thomas. If the Rams can’t haul in Vernor Talib is a solid second option.
After Hatcher’s breakout 11 sack season in 2013, some team will give him a big pay-day. If the Rams decide to cut Kendall Langford or just add a guy to the rotation, Hatcher is a guy they should consider.
He may come a little more expensive than the Rams would like at 31 years old, but there is no doubt that Hatcher can make plays.