2014 NFL Free Agency: St. Louis Rams- Potential Cuts and Free Agents
Byron Lambert, Rosterwatch.com
Photo By Alex Dunlap
As we head in to the 2014 NFL offseason and free agency, the St. Louis Rams are up against the salary cap. A strange scenario for a developing roster. Fortunately, they have very few free agents to be concerned about this offseason. OT Rodger Saffold is the biggest name of the Rams impending free agents- and likely a priority for the team to re-sign. There are no free-agents of fantasy relevance this offseason in St. Louis.
But, there are a few potential candidates to be cut or restructured:
Sam Bradford (QB)– We are huge fans of Rams GM Les Snead. Still, we hate the trade last year for Tavon Austin – and we continue to be confused by Snead’s insistence on Sam Bradford. While, with some stability, we started to see signs of Bradford’s progression last year – he was setback with a major knee injury. With a $17.6M cap hit for 2014, one has to wonder if the Rams should cut losses- save $10.5M against the cap- and dominate the 2014 NFL Draft. The more likely scenario, in a league where good quarterbacks are nearly impossible to cultivate, is Snead hanging on tight to Bradford for one more year – just to make sure – then, based on next year’s results, look at cutting Bradford in 2015 for a cap savings of $11.5M. The problem we see with this is – coming off an injury, it’s hard to say Bradford will be getting a fair shot to show “who he really is” in 2014. We wouldn’t be shocked to see this deal restructured to buy the marriage a little extra time while also lessening the impact on the cap over the next few years. We’ll certainly be asking Snead at the NFL Combine later this month.
Austin Pettis (WR)– Pettis may have actually been the Rams best wide receiver this year. However, he’s still not what anybody would consider a core offensive building block. St. Louis also has a bevy of young, recently drafted WR talent in the stables with Brian Quick, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Stedman Bailey. The Rams would incur a projected $1.4M in cap savings by cutting Pettis this offseason. He was a Sam Bradford security blanket last year, so with Bradford coming off the knee injury – we could see St. Louis considering ways to keep him.
Lance Kendricks (TE)– Projected $1M in cap relief by cutting a role player.
Isaiah Pead (RB)– Rumors have long had it that Pead is in the Jeff Fisher doghouse. Ask Vince Young how hard it is to crawl out of that residence. Combined with the emergence of late-round rookie darling Zac Stacy is Pead’s limited skill set and his lack of production. It could cost him a roster spot in St. Louis. Especially since Daryl Richardson—for God only knows what reason—seems to be a real Jeff Fisher favorite in the backup role. The team only stands to clear $500K by cutting Pead, so the sophomore runner could get a crack at year three. It would be his only saving grace.
** Other runners who could be cut to save about 500K/clip against the Rams 2014 cap are: Daryl Richardson, Ben Cunningham, and Chase Reynolds.