Morning Ram-blings: A receiver mirage?

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams mostly stayed out of the free-agent frenzy this offseason, choosing to add players exclusively on one-year 'prove it' type deals.

That was a change in direction from the previous two seasons when they spent big on the open market and, frankly, an understandable one. Still, many clamored for the Rams to be more active and make a splashy addition. It remains to be seen how this season will play out and it will likely determine which approach the Rams take in the 2015 free-agent class but there is one position that promises intrigue should some of the team's young players not develop as expected in 2014.

Almost a year out, there appears to be a potential monster free-agent class of wide receivers that could hit the open market. At it stands, names like Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Michael Crabtree, Torrey Smith and Jordy Nelson are due for new contracts.

Of course, the reality is that a lot can change in a year and many of the possible names will never see the light of day on the open market. But with so many of them available, it stands to reason that a few could slip through the cracks.

The Rams are betting on the development of their young receivers and would obviously prefer that group gets the job done and young players like Chris Givens take a big step forward. If it doesn't happen, could the Rams be in the market for help? Perhaps but as NFL Nation columnist Kevin Seifert writes, receiver is generally not a good spot to spend big money on free agents.

I'm sure if the Rams get their way, the only free-agent receivers they'll be signing next year will be their own. Kenny Britt and Austin Pettis are scheduled to hit the market as well. Bringing them back would mean they produced in 2014.


A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we began the day with a look at Eric Karabell's early summer fantasy forecast for the Rams. ... In this week's Buzz video, I discussed where the roster stands as we head toward the summer months. ... From there, we investigated just how serious the competition at running back figures to be for the Rams in training camp. ... We closed the day with a look at the pending competition for kick return duties.


Our Josh Weinfuss reports that the Arizona Cardinals plan to put former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner in their ring of honor.

Elsewhere in the NFC West, columnist Jeffri Chadiha writes that the Seahawks don't owe anything to running back Marshawn Lynch.

Also from Seifert, a look at teams dealing with dead money, a list the Rams do not make.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas discusses the addition of Gregg Williams to the defense.

Joe Lyons examines the life of a camp leg, punter Bobby Cowan.