Later today at 4PM ET teams will be able to begin negotiating with other players from other teams. Heading into free agency, one of the most exciting parts of the offseason, the Rams have around $10 million in cap space, and could have $14 million if they decide to release guard Harvey Dahl.
With $14 million the Rams won’t be able to make a big splash, but they could certainly make a move or two. The Rams won’t be making any “dream teams” that’s for sure, but here’s what you can expect from the St.Louis Rams in free agency.
The Rams will likely cut Harvey Dahl within the next day or two in order to relieve some cap space, that is almost a given, and why they haven’t done it yet is a complete mystery. When they do that they will have the $14 million.
Starting at 4PM ET Saffold will be able to talk to other teams, and you can bet the Rams will stand by with him to see if they can match, or beat the offer. According to Ian Rapoport, many teams see Saffold as a top guard and an above average left tackle. General manager Les Snead did say re-signing Saffold was a top priority. Saffold will see what he is worth and then go back to the Rams with what he want, if they can’t, or don’t want to match it, he will walk.
One this is certain, Saffold is going to test the free agent market, but that does not mean the Rams won’t have their chance to bring him back, it only means they will be competing with 31 other teams.
Over the past two years the Rams have made some noise during free agency, signing cornerback Cortland Finnegan, Jake Long, and Jared Cook. Names like Alterraun Verner, Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward, and Hakeem Nicks have been brought up as players the Rams could sign. The most likely of those players would be Verner and Ward, especially if the Rams don’t bring back Saffold.
If Saffold finds the contract he is looking for elsewhere, and doesn’t return to St. Louis, don’t be surprised if one of those players above ends up in a Rams uniform. If the Rams bring in one of those players for $6-$8 million a year, they could have room to sign one more smaller tier free agent.
If the Rams do bring back Saffold they will be forced to go after smaller name free agents, and players that won’t cost them a lot of money. We are just going to assume the Saffold gets $6.5 million a year which would give the Rams, assuming they also release Dahl, $7.5 million. With that the Rams could try and get safety Malcolm Jenkins, cornerback Tracey Porter, or safety Louis Delmas for $2-$4 million a year.
If the Rams can bring in one of those guys and Saffold, it would be a decent free agency. They would have signed their guard for the future is Saffold, as well as bring in a guy that could make an impact right away.
And while all that is happening the Rams will work to see about bringing back some of their own guys like guard Chris Williams, linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, safety Darian Stewart, and quarterback Kellen Clemens.
The Rams probably won’t be making any sort of “dream team” splashes or make a lot of noise for that matter, but they will try and bring in a guy or two that can help the team. If its one thing we’ve learned about the Rams the past two years, it’s don’t count them out during free agency.