Not just a chip on this receiver's shoulder

August, 19, 2011
8/19/11
6:19
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- NFL free agency was brutally unaccommodating for quite a few players this offseason.

Players dreaming of lucrative long-term agreements awoke to an unreceptive market. One-year deals proliferated even for younger starters such as San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson and new St. Louis Rams receiver Mike Sims-Walker.

I spoke with Sims-Walker at Rams camp this week and asked him what he possibly could have done to go from No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville to essentially unwanted by a Jaguars team without proven replacements for him. He had no answer.

"Man, you couldn’t even imagine the chip I have on my shoulder," Sims-Walker said. "I call it a cracker. It’s bigger than a chip. I’m walking around with a cracker on my shoulder."

The Rams signed Sims-Walker to a one-year agreement that will count about $1.2 million against the cap.

With so many free agents signing one-year deals, the market figures to be flooded with free agents again next offseason. The process could repeat itself for some. They'll have extra incentive to play well in 2011 after realizing the market isn't going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

As for Sims-Walker, I see him sticking with a receiving corps likely to feature Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. Donnie Avery, Mardy Gilyard and Danario Alexander could be fighting for one roster spot unless the Rams surprisingly keep seven receivers. That's how I see it heading into the second preseason game, anyway.

Sims-Walker, who returned to practice late in the week after injuring his groin in the first preseason game, expects to play against Tennessee on Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome.

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