Since free agency opened March 11, front offices around the league have been busy retooling rosters and getting ready for next season. Here at CSNWashington.com, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the moves made by teams who appear on the Redskins’ 2014 schedule.
So who’s gotten better? And who’s gotten worse? Let’s take a closer look.
Up today …
Opponent: St. Louis Rams
2013 record: 7-9 (last in NFC West)
Key additions: Re-signed G Rodger Saffold and OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
Key losses: CB Courtland Finnegan (Dolphins), OG Chris Williams (Bills), OG Shelley Smith (Dolphins), TE Mike McNeill (Panthers) and QB Kellen Clemens (Chargers).
Best move: Releasing Finnegan, who had begun to show signs of significant decline. And, oh yeah, he was going to count $10 million against the salary cap in ’14. By cutting the 30-year-old, the Rams saved $4 million.
The bottom line: Well, if you’re a St. Louis fan, there hasn’t been much to get excited about thus far. They’ve kicked some tires (Henry Melton, Kenny Britt) but haven’t closed any deals. The Rams have basically watched from the sidelines during the first 1 ½ weeks of free agency, despite needing help along the offensive and defensive lines as well as in the secondary. Getting Saffold back in the fold after his failed physical fiasco in Oakland is probably a plus. But he’s not a game-changer. The addition of Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator last month should make a difference for a middle-of-the-pack unit that ranked 13th in points allowed (22.8) last season. The Rams also have two first round picks-the second overall (from Washington) and the 13th-that could be used to select a couple of playmakers to help Sam Bradford, who is coming off a torn ACL.
In the final analysis, it’s important to note that it’s still early in the offseason. The Rams are about $9 million under the cap, according to NFLPA figures, and two studs could be picked in May's draft. (It's also possible they'll deal the No. 2 pick for additional selections.) A better assessment of their offseason can be made after the draft.