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Titus Young will not be much of a salary cap burden; he is only owed $800,000 in each of the next two seasons.
Still, his presence on the roster makes bringing back both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson less likely.
Gibson is coming off of his best season, and Amendola is, well, Danny Amendola, one of the best slot receivers in the game.
Despite the possibility that Young could be cut in the first week of training camp if he doesn't change his boneheaded ways, at this point he represents an insurance policy if the Rams are forced to let either Amendola or Gibson walk.
If we knew that Young was going to stay out of trouble in 2013, the Rams might let both Amendola and Gibson go. With Amendola's injury history, the Rams may still allow him to walk if his price tag reaches a level that makes them uncomfortable for a guy who has only played in 12 of the Rams' last 32 games.
Robert Turner made $700,000 in 2012. He will cost a little more in 2013, but he will be worth it if the Rams have the cap space. Even though the Rams could use an upgrade over Turner in the starting lineup, there is no such thing as too many good offensive linemen. If Turner is comfortable in a reserve role, and the price tag is workable, he needs to come back.
Barry Richardson played better than anyone expected, especially in the running game. Still, his pass-blocking was a weakness. The Rams may and probably should look for an upgrade in the draft. Even if they find one, they would like to have Richardson back for 2013, O-line depth being of immense importance.
Perhaps the most important of the Rams' own free agents is William Hayes. He wants to come back, having said (per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch):
I love it here. I love the tradition, the coaches, my teammates, the facility. It’s a great place to be. This team, the future’s gonna be crazy around here. If we can keep these guys together, it’s gonna be really exciting.
There is no overstating Hayes' importance to the Rams defense in 2012. Let's hope his affinity for the situation here in St. Louis inspires him to grant a "hometown discount."
His departure would be a huge blow for a Rams defense with an incredible amount of potential.