Christian Petersen/Getty Images
As mentioned in the introduction, the Rams are in real danger of losing their top three weapons—Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson.
Sure, Gibson led the team in receiving yards (691) and touchdowns (five), but let's not kid ourselves—Gibson was only in that position to succeed because Amendola missed five games and Chris Givens didn't break out until midseason.
So while he finished with the best numbers, he was the third-best receiver at best.
There's no pressure to replace Gibson. Austin Pettis and Brian Quick will be expected to fill his shoes with ease.
As for Jackson and Amendola, their shoes are harder to fill.
Jackson is a beastly runner who racked up over 1,000 yards for his eighth consecutive year. He has the size to take the bulk of the carries and is a leader on the team.
The undersized youngsters Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson do not appear to be every-down backs, which puts the Rams in the market for a workhorse.
Here are some potential options in free agency:
Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons
The 31-year-old Michael Turner is another aging back whose best years are behind him, but since he didn't break 100 carries in a season until 2008, he doesn't have the typical wear and tear of a elderly back.
Jackson has 2,395 career carries, while Turner is sitting with a modest total of 1,639.
He's far from a long-term answer, but he can take 50.0 percent of the carries over the next two years until the Rams find a younger replacement.
Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Here's an option that has yet to be mentioned for the Rams.
Rashard Mendenhall struggled to see the field in 2012 as he recovered from an ACL injury, but when healthy, he fits the exact mold of what St. Louis is looking for.
While Mendenhall was unproductive in 2012, it's foolish to think a knee injury will keep the 25-year-old back irrelevant forever.
Let's not forget that 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson was able to bounce back quite remarkably from a similar injury.
His injury will keep his price tag low, but if he's healthy, he'll provide the Rams with an absolute bargain.
Should St. Louis Fork Danny the Dough?
As for Amendola, his style of play is bit unique, and the market seldom has an influx of elite slot receivers.
But his talent isn't the only thing the Rams would be paying for in Amendola, it's also his uncanny level of comfort with quarterback Sam Bradford.
These two players need each other, and it's difficult to imagine a scenario where either player reaches their full potential in 2013 if there's a breakup.
For this reason, the smartest thing for St. Louis to do is re-sign him.
Health problems or not, he's Bradford's top target, and the offense will struggle to improve without his playmaking abilities.
Amendola has become one of the biggest sports stars in St. Louis, and his work ethic would be sorely missed in the locker room.
For the sake of the offense, the Rams need to hammer out a deal that's comfortable for both sides. Surely that's not unfeasible.