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Sunday, September 4, 2011
Why ex-49er Wragge makes sense for Rams

By Mike Sando

Veteran guard Tony Wragge's expected addition to the St. Louis Rams, as reported by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, dovetails with expectations for the team coming out of the exhibition season.

The Rams want to get bigger on their offensive interior. They did that already by signing free agent Harvey Dahl to replace Adam Goldberg in the starting lineup at right guard. The 32-year-old Wragge, listed at 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, would give them more power than Hank Fraley offers as a backup to all three interior positions. Wragge started 10 games in 2008, but has not projected as a full-time starter during his career.

Wragge, released by San Francisco, became expendable to the 49ers after the team developed guard/tackle Adam Snyder as a backup center this summer. With Alex Boone developing as the swing tackle, the 49ers felt comfortable proceeding with Snyder and Boone as primary backups on the line.

The Rams' needs along the line changed when the team hired Josh McDaniels as its offensive coordinator. McDaniels has typically valued interior linemen with more power than the Rams have had with Goldberg and Fraley. The Rams wanted more power on the interior anyway.

The Rams kept only eight offensive linemen on their initial reduction to 53 players, one fewer than teams typically keep. They used the additional roster spot to keep a seventh receiver in Dominique Curry, whose value rests solely on special teams. Signing Wragge would call into question Fraley's status.

Rams vice president of player personnel Mike Williams was with the 49ers from 2000-08. The 49ers signed Wragge in 2005. Wragge had been with the Arizona Cardinals previously.