- Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- True to their word, the St. Louis Rams have been one of the least active teams in free agency this year.
Instead of the big, splashy signings of recent years, the Rams opted to be bargain shoppers with the re-signings of offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar as the only deals extending beyond a single year.
That should come as no surprise as the Rams indicated that would be their approach early in the offseason. In sticking to that approach, the team has signed quarterback Shaun Hill, defensive lineman Alex Carrington, receiver Kenny Britt and guard Davin Joseph to one-year deals.
After adding 11 more players through the draft, the roster is mostly set and the initial 53 players to make the team out of camp will probably come from the group that's already in St. Louis. But the Rams could still make a couple of tweaks here and there to add depth, like they did in signing Joseph late last week.
Last year, the Rams continued looking at veteran options deep into the offseason, signing safety Matt Giordano on June 15 and linebacker Will Witherspoon on July 18. Of course, part of the Witherspoon addition later became clear because of a pending suspension for Dunbar, but Witherspoon did provide some much-needed depth behind the starting trio upon Dunbar's return.
Heading into 2014, the Rams have plenty of options at most positions, but linebacker and safety again represent logical positions where veteran depth might be needed.
At linebacker, the starting group of Dunbar, James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree is pretty well set. Ray-Ray Armstrong could push for playing time as he enters his second year, but beyond that, there simply aren't many known quantities in terms of contributing to the defense (and Armstrong isn't really one either). Armstrong and Daren Bates again figure to be core special teams players and the rest of the group includes unknown commodities like Etienne Sabino, Phillip Steward and Tavarius Wilson, among others.
The Rams could use a versatile, reliable veteran capable of playing anywhere in the group. As it stands, Dunbar is the de facto backup to Laurinaitis in the middle but adding someone who could play there as well at outside would make sense.
As for what's left on the market, should the Rams choose to add a veteran, Witherspoon, Pat Angerer, James Anderson, Jonathan Vilma, Desmond Bishop and Dan Connor are among the linebackers still unemployed.
At safety, the Rams have Rodney McLeod, T.J. McDonald and Maurice Alexander who seem all but certain to land roster spots. They'll probably keep four or five at the position leaving competition amongst the likes of Matt Daniels, Cody Davis and Christian Bryant.
Of course, all of the names mentioned above come with some sort of red flag -- age, off the field issues or simple lack of productivity -- which is why they're available this late in the game. The Rams have proved time and again they won't add veterans just for the sake of doing it, so any move made would be because they see an obvious upgrade to what they already have.
As the Rams open organized team activities this week, they'll get a chance to evaluate the players already on the roster. From there, they'll be able to determine if they need to dip their toes back into free agency.
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- True to their word, the St. Louis Rams have been one of the least active teams in free agency this year.Instead of the big, splashy signings of recent years, the Rams opted to be bargain shoppers with the re-signings of offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar as the only deals extending beyond a single year.