1:40pm: The Cardinals did not inquire about Brockers and the Rams wouldn’t trade him in the division anyway, a source tells Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
12:17pm: A report earlier this week indicated that the Rams were exercising their 2016 option on defensive tackle Michael Brockers, but apparently teams around the league aren’t convinced that St. Louis will hang onto Brockers for the long term. According to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link), the Cowboys, Texans, and Cardinals have been calling the Rams trying to strike a deal for Brockers, and the Dolphins have also expressed interest.
Brokers, 24, has played well for St. Louis since being drafted 14th overall by the team in 2012, though his sack total slipped in 2014. After recording 46 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2013, Brockers totaled just 32 tackles and 2.0 sacks last year.
The presence of 2014 first-round pick Aaron Donald may have limited Brockers’ impact last season, and he may see his playing time reduced a little this coming season after the Rams signed former Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley in free agency. I imagine Brockers will still see plenty of action on running downs, but the idea of having Donald, Fairley, Robert Quinn, and Chris Long getting after the quarterback on passing downs must be tantalizing for the Rams.
Last month’s addition of Fairley to go along with Donald is likely what’s spurring teams to call the Rams about Brockers. St. Louis is already spending a good chunk of money on its defensive line, so the idea of paying Brockers $6.146MM (his option salary) for 2016 may be a little off-putting.
Nonetheless, Rams COO and EVP of football operations Kevin Demoff said yesterday that there’s a better chance of Adam Wainwright pitching again for the Cardinals this year than there is of the Rams trading Brockers (Twitter link via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Wainwright, of course, recently tore his Achilles and will miss the rest of the MLB season. Still, it’s worth noting that the Rams adamantly denied that Sam Bradford was going anywhere, just weeks before he was dealt to Philadelphia.