Offseason Forecast: St. Louis Rams


With the offseason officially underway, Around The NFL will examine what's next for all 32 teams. The series continues with the St. Louis Rams.

What's changing?

With the offseason underway, Around The NFL explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East:
AFC North:
AFC South:
AFC West:
NFC East:
NFC North:
NFC South:
NFC West:

While owner Stan Kroenke is flirting with a move to Los Angeles, the Rams front office is tasked with fixing an offense that has had the organization mired in NFL purgatory since Sam Bradford was drafted No. 1 overall five years ago. Despite persistent innuendo connecting Bradford to the Bills and Browns, no team has contacted the Rams about a trade, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Coach Jeff Fisher insists his enigmatic quarterback is going nowhere.

Because Bradford can't have stability in his life, Frank Cignetti was promoted to become the team's fourth offensive coordinator in the past five years. Former Florida State star Chris Weinke has been hired to fill Cignetti's old role as quarterbacks coach.

Biggest free agents

» WR Kenny Britt: Britt led the Rams with 748 yards and set a career high with 48 receptions in 2014. He's expected to re-sign even if that leaves the Rams without a legitimate No. 1 receiver for the eighth consecutive year since the tail end of Torry Holt's prime.

» OT Joe Barksdale: A former Raiders third-round pick, Barksdale turned his career around in St. Louis as a reliable right tackle. General manager Les Snead recently stated that he expects Barksdale to test a market that is short on quality offensive linemen.

» QB Shaun Hill: The 35-year-old career backup started the final seven games last season, keeping the Rams competitive even if the offense was noticeably lacking in big plays. The team's brass has hinted at re-signing Hill as insurance for a brittle Bradford.

Other key free agents: Lance Kendricks, Davin Joseph, Alex Carrington

On the way out?

» OT Jake Long: Coming off his second ACL surgery in the last two years, Long is not likely to see the $10.5 million that is scheduled to come his way this season. It's not clear yet if he will restructure or be released.

» C Scott Wells: Now 34 years old, Wells has been in decline since signing a $24 million contract three years ago. The Rams can't count on him to stay healthy and effective with a $4.75 million cap number.

What they need

Third-string quarterback Austin Davis' performance in his first three NFL starts last season were better than any three-game stretch of Bradford's career. Unless Bradford finally stays healthy for 16 games and realizes his potential, he's going to end up costing folks jobs. With the futures of Long, Barksdale and Wells up in the air, Snead might have to overhaul the offensive line -- again. Tre Mason and Brian Quick showed flashes of playmaking ability last season, but this offense still needs difference-makers at the skill positions. The defense is loaded with talent.

Offseason crystal ball

The Rams believe the best-case scenario for both sides is for Bradford to take a pay cut, stay in St. Louis and rebuild his value as a franchise quarterback. Unless another teams gets exceedingly desperate, Bradford isn't going to find a suitor. That leaves offensive tackle, wide receiver and linebacker as the three positions likely to be targeted early in the draft or free agency. Barring a revelation from Bradford, the Rams are set for their annual run at seven wins.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews free agency and tells you which big-name players could be released. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.