Rounding Up the Latest Offseason Buzz Surrounding St. Louis Rams
June hasn’t been a particularly eventful month for the St. Louis Rams. They have hosted a number of free-agent defenders to man the back seven, but have only signed one—former Oakland Raider Matt Giordano—thus far.
That doesn’t stop buzz from building, though.
What follows is a recap of the recent visits and free-agent discussions surrounding St. Louis.
Former Carolina Panthers safety Sherrod Martin was in for a visit with the St. Louis Rams on June 10 according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. He’s working his way back from a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee.
Veteran safety Sherrod Martin is visiting the St. Louis Rams today, per a league source— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) June 10, 2013
The fifth-year pro, 28, forced two fumbles in 12 games of limited work last season. Wilson also reported that Martin visited with the Kansas City Chiefs—the same team against which he had his injury.
Apparently they were intrigued by what they saw before that untimely setback.
Takeo Spikes would be the oldest member of the St. Louis Rams by four years if he’s brought on board. He’s seven years older than Cortland Finnegan and eight years older than the Rams' oldest linebacker, Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
The Rams hosted the 36-year-old linebacker on June 12 according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, but Spikes left without a deal. If signed, he would bring an unprecedented level of playoff hunger to St. Louis.
Free-agent LB Takeo Spikes meeting with Rams today and Wednesday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 11, 2013
Spikes has never played in the postseason.
He was drafted in 1998 but is still productive, recording 78 total tackles in 2012. That was his third consecutive season playing 16 games.
Remember Will Witherspoon? He spent four seasons with the St. Louis Rams, totaling 331 tackles, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a pick in 54 games from 2006 to 2009.
Jeff Fisher remembers him, too, since Witherspoon also spent three seasons since with the Tennessee Titans.
The soon-to-be-33-year-old would be the 2013 Rams’ oldest player, but he’s only missed four of a possible 177 regular-season games—completing a rare 17-game regular season in 2009 with the Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s very doubtful that the Rams sign him and Takeo Spikes, as each would likely fill a similar depth/veteran-presence role for them. Witherspoon seemingly has advantages in the connections and youth department.
He visited on June 13 according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Chris Gocong, like Takeo Spikes and Will Witherspoon, would be the St. Louis Rams’ oldest linebacker if Les Snead picked him up. Unlike the older ‘backers, he wouldn’t be their oldest player.
Gocong was out of football in 2012 due to an Achilles injury, tried out with the Philadelphia Eagles in May and visited St. Louis on June 13 according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas. Before his injury, the 29-year-old hadn’t played fewer than 15 games in a season.
His best statistical seasons were his two as a member of the Cleveland Browns (2010-11): 145 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Abram Elam, 31, met with the St. Louis Rams last week as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas. Not including his second stint with the Dallas Cowboys—which took place five years after his first and only other season with them as a rookie—Elam has played for four NFL teams.
He’s also suited up for the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. Elam started in seven of his 12 appearances for the Chiefs last year, recording 35 total tackles and two deflected passes.
Matt Giordano is the one guy from this list who already transformed his trip to St. Louis into a contract with the Rams. The former fourth-round pick (Indianapolis Colts, 2005), who will turn 31 in October, signed on June 14.
In his 31 appearances as a member of the Oakland Raiders, he started 22 games and totaled 121 tackles, seven interceptions, a forced fumble, a sack and 10 pass breakups.
Before that, he started six regular-season contests in six years.
Giordano has a Super Bowl ring (2006 with Indianapolis) and has been around other Super Bowl cultures. He played for the Green Bay Packers the year before they won a title and the New Orleans Saints the year after they won theirs.
He’ll look to add the St. Louis Rams to that list.