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Thursday, May 12, 2011
WR logjam creates competition for Rams

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Pierre from Columbia, Mo., wants to know which St. Louis Rams wide receivers will -- or should -- earn rosters spots in 2011. He thinks the team has too many at present.

Mike Sando: Teams generally keep five or six wide receivers on their 53-man rosters. Four is the absolute minimum. Seven is generally the maximum. The Rams kept four on their Week 1 roster in 2009, Steve Spagnuolo's first season. They had six in Week 1 last season.

Danny Amendola appears safe as a slot receiver. Rookies Austin Pettis and Greg Salas were drafted early enough -- among the first four rounds -- to qualify as likely keepers. They would have to struggle beyond reasonable expectation for the team to risk placing them on waivers before their rookie seasons. Veterans Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton will likely figure into the mix prominently if sufficiently recovered from injuries. Those are the five leading candidates for rosters spots at this point, at least in my view.

I would place Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander, Laurent Robinson and Mardy Gilyard on notice for that sixth spot. But if Dominique Curry bounces back strong from a knee injury, his value on special teams could come into play. The final wide receiver generally must contribute on special teams to justify a roster spot. He almost certainly must do so to factor on the 45-man game-day roster.

The Rams could still pursue a receiver in free agency, affecting the balance.