With OTA’s currently going on and training camp quickly approaching, NFL teams are reviewing their rosters and looking for places to improve in order to put themselves in the best position to win during the 2014 season.
The St Louis Rams have their best team on paper in recent memory with considerable talent and depth at a multitude of positions. However, there is one critical position that is lacking experience and a good amount of proven production. The Rams should look to sign another veteran wide receiver that can both solidify their receiving corps and provide a reliable option for Sam Bradford on 3rd down and goal line situations.
Right now there is open competition for basically all spots on the receiver depth chart. Chris Givens has shown signs of improvement and flashed his talent at times during the 2013 season, but is yet to score a touchdown during his time as a pro. Austin Pettis is a guy who the Rams are really looking to have a breakout season in 2014. He had 38 catches last season with 4 touchdowns and nearly 400 yards receiving. His size at 6-3 gives him an advantage over smaller corners and has the potential to be a perennial possession receiver. Stedman Bailey is a smaller slot receiver who caught 17 balls during the 2013 season but his role will most likely be replaced by the faster and more sure-handed Tavon Austin. It might be in the best interest of the Rams to cut Bailey in order to make room for a proven veteran at the position.
Of all the free agent receivers available, I think that the Rams should sign former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. Holmes is a proven winner who knows how to produce at an extremely high level. The two main reasons he has not been signed by a team is his health and his attitude problems that might be a distraction. Holmes has a certain edge about him, depending on who you talk to.
According to Holmes’ personal trainer, Tom Shaw, Holmes is sprinting and jumping with no restrictions and his foot injury that has caused him to miss time in the past is a non-factor. Shaw also said that Holmes has grown up a lot in recent years, and believes he will be a “model teammate and citizen to whatever team he goes to”.
Having newly signed veteran Kenny Britt along with Holmes would provide an extreme amount of confidence and savvy that has been lacking in the Rams’ locker room in these recent dismal years. They could show younger receivers like Givens and Pettis what made them so successful when they were their age.
Having both of them on the field at the same time would allow Sam Bradford the confidence in knowing he has guys out there that have been there before and know where to position themselves in order to make that critical 3rd down catch or score. The Rams have a lot of young talent, but not a lot of guys who have played important playoff and Super Bowl games, something that Holmes has done a lot of during his time with the Steelers. What better way to bring a franchise’s offense out of the dark than to go get a guy who has immense talent and experience trying to resurrect his career?