The Rams capped off a modest free agency period with the signing of former Tennessee Titan wide receiver Kenny Britt, as first reported by NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport. The former 30th overall pick inked a one-year-deal worth $1.4 million, with a mere $550,000 in guaranteed money. General Manager Les Snead and Head coach Jeff Fisher have executed a smart strategy this offseason, and it centers around potential rewards that outweigh the risks. With that risk/reward dichotomy in mind, we wanted to break down the “best case” and “worst case” scenarios for each of the Rams (re-)signings this offseason.
Rodger Saffold, G/OT
BEST CASE: The Rams nabbed Saffold after he was discarded by the Oakland Raiders for a discount. Saffold is a versatile lineman with a mean streak who dominated at guard last season when healthy. He provides solidarity at the guard position and he has the ability to fill in for injured players at both tackle spots.
WORST CASE: Saffold has an injury plagued season and when he’s healthy, he complains about not getting snaps at tackle, his native position.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar, LB
BEST CASE: He is an enforcer on the defensive side of the ball and he shores up run defense on first and second downs. He also has a non-stop motor that goes toward making the Ram defense a hard-nosed unit to compete with the other defenses in the NFC West.
WORST CASE: Dunbar struggles with missed tackles, pass coverage and penalties – prompting Fisher to use Dunbar primarily on special teams. All of this assumes that he will keep himself “clean” and out of trouble for all 16 games.
Greg Reid, CB
BEST CASE: Reid makes the team during training camp and starts as a special team contributor. If he continues to rise he could elevate himself to a possible nickel corner role (depending on what the Rams do in the 2014 NFL Draft).
WORST CASE: Reid gets in trouble (which seems to already have happened), gets injured, or has flat out lost his ability. The Rams have no qualms about letting him go if he slips up.
Etienne Sabino, LB
BEST CASE: Sabino adds depth at linebacker and could be a special teams contributor from day one. Only time will tell what impact he will have on the team.
WORST CASE: He fills a 90-man roster spot, then gets cut at some point in training camp.
Alex Carrington, DT
BEST CASE: Rotational interior lineman who provides minimal drop off in production when subbing for Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers.
WORST CASE: He re-injures himself and misses another substantial amount of time. If he stays healthy he could fail to break out of the group of various defensive lineman the Rams have on their roster.
Shaun Hill, QB
BEST CASE: In the event of a Sam Bradford injury, he would fill in adequately and salvage some games, much like Kellen Clemons did at the end of the 2013 season. In a best, best case scenario for the St. Louis Rams, Shaun Hill will never step foot on the field in 2014.
WORST CASE: He and his one-year-deal sit the bench. Although this would ideally be the best outcome for the Rams, as far as he’s concerned it would be another year as a backup in the NFL. Not all that different from his best case scenario.
Kenny Britt: WR
BEST CASE: The Rams signed Britt for a slim $1.4 million contract, the epitome of a “show-me” deal. When Fisher drafted him in Tennessee, he saw the potential Britt had to be a legitimate No.1 weapon in the NFL. So far, he has been a disappointment. His best season came in 2010 when he tallied 42 receptions for 775 yards and nine touchdowns. He has the potential to be an impactful player if he gets his head on straight. He could be a great weapon for Sam Bradford. If everything works out he could come close to his career highs in yards and touchdowns (depending on what the Rams do in the 2014 NFL Draft).
WORST CASE: Britt is a bust and the team cuts him with a fairly small penalty. His contract is highly incentivized, so he will need to earn his money or he runs the risk of getting benched or released.
Some of the additions, such as Shaun Hill and Alex Carrington are sure things – the Rams generally know what to expect. Others, such as Greg Reid and Kenny Britt, are wildcards with ability that could benefit the team greatly if they pan out. If not, they can scrap them with no regrets.