EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The offseason is here for the Los Angeles Rams and now that we know where they'll be playing their home games for the long-term, things have settled down enough to spend our weekends answering a few of your Twitter questions.
As always, you can find me on Twitter @nwagoner. Fire away with any Rams-related questions you might have. Please use hashtag #RamsMail so I can see them.
On to your questions.
— LA Rams Fan Zone (@LARamsFanZone) March 11, 2016
@nwagoner: I don't think it's accurate to call Case Keenum a smokescreen at this point. They haven't said Keenum is their quarterback for the long term or even the season. They just said he's the starter going into the offseason. The reality of the situation all along has been that Keenum is the guy on the roster right now about whom they feel the best so they were always going to keep him around unless a clear-cut better option revealed itself somewhere along the way. In free agency, it doesn't seem that one of those has come along, at least not at the right price. That is, of course, subject to change, but for now there doesn't appear to be serious interest in the choices still on the market. The Rams putting the first-round tender on Keenum proves that they would like to at least give him a shot to win the job or make another team pay a hefty price to pry him away (which is unlikely). Nick Foles has not been available to talk and, to my knowledge, did not attend the optional team meeting in Los Angeles a couple of Fridays ago. He still remains the most likely option to be deleted if the Rams add an outside quarterback. On Sean Mannion, as I've written before, the Rams like his upside and it would be a surprise if they moved on from him after just one year. He should have a chance to push for the No. 2 job this year depending on what might be added from the outside. As always, these things are fluid, and perhaps an opportunity the Rams like -- i.e. a cheaper, short, "prove it" deal for a veteran -- will present itself. But as it stands, it seems the Rams are more likely to explore quarterback options in the draft, which probably only improves Keenum's chances of being the starter in 2016 unless they move up for one of the top guys.
— Jordan Gallacher (@Jordan3110) March 11, 2016
@nwagoner: The answer to the question is probably both. It wouldn't be unusual for the Rams to get Daren Bates back at a price lower than the restricted free-agent tender. They did the same with Tim Barnes last year, and he became the starting center. Bates could garner some interest for his value on special teams, but the Rams know him better than the others and so long as they want to bring him back it seems like a real possibility. But even if that happens, the Rams still need some depth at the position. Bryce Hager and Cameron Lynch are still around and can contribute on special teams, but I doubt they feel comfortable going into a season with Alec Ogletree coming off injury and knowing Mark Barron is a bit undersized for his position without having a solid backup in place. There's not much out there in free agency so perhaps they go that route in the draft. Either way, I think it's safe to expect the Rams to add another linebacker regardless of what happens with Bates.