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2-14 Rams, Couldn’t Look Any Better

Jeff Fisher Rams

When the St. Louis Rams made headlines when – in my opinion – they fleeced the Washington Redskins with the big trade that became official last Tuesday afternoon, it was just the start of new head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead’s plan to turn around the long suffering franchise.

Most of you know the details of the trade. The Rams moved down four spots from number two to number six position, picked up Washington’s second-round pick (39th overall) this year, plus Washington’s first round pick in the next two drafts. The Redskins paid the huge price even though the entire National Football League knew the Rams were moving out of that spot. It has become obvious the goal of the Rams is to build for the long term. They will be power players in the next three drafts and the moves they have made and not made early on in free agency, will have the Rams getting younger while freeing up cap space.

st louis ramsWhen the St. Louis Rams made headlines when – in my opinion – they fleeced the Washington Redskins with the big trade that became official last Tuesday afternoon, it was just the start of new head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead’s plan to turn around the long suffering franchise.

Most of you know the details of the trade. The Rams moved down four spots from number two to number six, picked up Washington’s second-round pick (39th overall) this year, plus Washington’s first round pick in the next two drafts. The Redskins paid the huge price even though the entire National Football League knew the Rams were moving out of that spot. It has become obvious the goal of the Rams is to build for the long term. They will be power players in the next three drafts and the moves they have made and not made early on in free agency, will have the Rams getting younger while freeing up cap space.

Just before the start of the 2011 season, the St. Louis Rams were the only team over the salary cap. For a two win team, being anywhere near the salary cap should be unacceptable. The front office went to work. As of March 14th the Rams were $14.6 under the cap. Although that number still puts the team in the bottom half of the league for cap space they had to start somewhere. In order to clear space the Rams didn’t pursue guys our outright cut others that were either on the back half of their careers or had injury issues.

Gone are 52 seasons of experience between six players off of last year’s roster. They were replaced by three guys with an average of six years of experience. Although they are all not exactly spring chickens, the signings of center Scott Wells from the Packers, defensive end Kendall Langford from the Dolphins and cornerback Cortland Finnegan from the Titans is the start of a much needed youth movement in St. Louis.

Cortland Finnegan Picture1The Rams have some good young pieces to build around, and it looks like the front office is willing to put in the time a youth movement will take. Hiring Fisher was a sign that the organization is committed to a long-term rebuilding process. They have young players to build around. Quarterback Sam Bradford, left tackle Mark LeVoir, left defensive end Chris Long, inside linebacker James Laurinaitis and cornerback Josh Gordy – all starters last year at key positions have six or fewer years of experience.

The Rams have a great chance to quickly build a young nucleus that could launch the Rams from NFL bottom feeders to contenders. They made a great trade to set the table. It will be up to Snead and Fisher to hit on all of those picks and the ownership to stay patient. The Rams might struggle again this season, but my guess is so will Washington. With the high picks they will have the next two years and the youth movement they have started in free agency, the Rams couldn’t be looking any better.

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