Wagoner On The Rams

Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com recently hosted an online chat with fans about the Rams’ offseason, what questions the team must answer as they head into training camp next month, and what to be expected of certain players this year. The entire conversation is worth a read, but here are some of the highlights:

Wagoner generally cautions, and rightfully so, about making any bold proclamations based upon what transpired in OTAs and minicamp. For example, in response to a question as to whether any of the Rams’ receivers flashed the ability to become a true No. 1 receiver, Wagoner writes, “The receiver group had some really nice moments in camp, from guys like (Kenny Britt) and (Chris Givens) on down to someone like Emory Blake. But in the grand scheme, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.” Similarly, Wagoner adds, Brian Schottenheimer said (Brian Quick) was the most improved player in camp. He definitely had some good moments. But that’s nothing new, either. Quick has always showed great promise in practice. It’s about doing it in games. Let’s see where he’s at when the real stuff begins.”

On what the Rams could reasonably expect to pay if they wanted to extend Sam Bradford:

“I’d think he’d be in the $15 million range on an annual basis depending on how well he plays. Jay Cutler‘s contract would be a likely baseline, I’d think. Again, that’s based on him playing well enough for the Rams to want to do an extension.”

On Kenny Britt‘s potential impact:

“Hard to say but if the season started today, I’d think some combination of Givens, Britt and (Tavon Austin) would get the first crack at the receiver spots. But a long way to go.”

Whats moves to add veteran depth might the Rams make before the season begins?

“As of now, they don’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything else in terms of vets and they will need some cap space to get through the season with injuries and such. If they do, I think (outside linebacker and safety) would make the most sense, especially a veteran linebacker.”

How many quarterbacks might the Rams keep, and who are they?

“If neither (Austin Davis) nor (Garrett Gilbert) shows much, I could see the Rams keeping two and then putting Gilbert on the practice squad. If Gilbert plays well in the preseason, I think they keep all three. But I do think Davis would have to really surprise to make it.”

On if the three big contracts on the team’s books for Bradford, Jake Long, and James Laurinaitis will unduly hinder the Rams:

I don’t think it’s much of an issue because, as we sit here right now, what has it really cost them? Long and Laurinaitis have been good, productive players. And both of them have cap numbers that reduce in the next two years (especially in the case of Laurinaitis). Bradford’s contract is really nobody’s fault, it was the going rate for a No. 1 overall pick at the time. Have the Rams got the return on that investment? No. But as you point out, the Rams have the ability to move on from him soon without paying much dead money soon enough if he doesn’t take the next step or stay healthy in 2014.

On Aaron Donald‘s potential:

“I could see him getting seven or eight sacks as a rookie. I think he’ll work on sub package stuff a lot early on, coming in on passing downs. He should be able to do some damage there right away given his polish.”


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