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Thursday, February 26, 2009
Age before beauty: Rams free agents

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

St. Louis Rams 2009 UFA Candidates
Pos. Age
Gary Stills
LB 34.6
La'Roi Glover
DL 34.6
Cory Withrow
OL 33.8
Jason Craft
CB 33.0
Dane Looker WR 32.8
Fakhir Brown
CB 31.4
Brandon Gorin
OL 30.6
Dante Hall
KR 30.4
Travis Minor
RB
29.6
Brett Romberg
OL 29.3
Anthony Davis
OL 28.9
Adam Goldberg
OL 28.5
Ricky Manning
CB 28.2
Eric Moore
DL 27.9
Ron Bartell CB 27.0
Nick Leckey
OL 26.9
Rob Petitti
OL 26.7

The Rams could conceivably part with every one of their unrestricted free agents this offseason.

They will try to re-sign cornerback Ron Bartell. They could bring back a few others. But when a new front office and new coaching staff inherit a team with five victories over two seasons, serious roster trimming tends to ensue.

The chart ranks the Rams' scheduled unrestricted free agents from oldest to youngest, with ages rounded down to the tenth. Four are at least 33 years old. Four more are at least 30. Two more -- Travis Minor and Brett Romberg -- turn 30 during the 2009 season.

Bartell is clearly the Rams' most attractive UFA candidate. His case is a tough one for the Rams.

While the team would like to retain its best young talent, the coaching staff doesn't know Bartell well enough to make informed judgments about his longterm potential. And with the market for cornerbacks drying up, Bartell might command a significant contract on the open market.