The St. Louis Rams signed veteran linebacker Will Witherspoon to a one-year contract on Monday, according to ESPN. The 33-year-old was a mainstay on the Rams defensive unit when he played for the team for four seasons in the mid-2000s.
Now he’s back, but he probably won’t be playing the role of the team's leading tackler as he did for St. Louis in ’06 and ’07.
The move was made to deepen the young core of linebackers the Rams already have. It’s a group that includes Jo-Lonn Dunbar, rookie Alec Ogletree and the team's leading tackler from a year ago, James Laurinaitis.
Having the veteran Witherspoon playing a mentoring role can only help mold Ogletree into a sound NFL tackler. In addition, Witherspoon has a relationship with Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and assistant head coach Dave McGinnis from his time spent with the Tennessee Titans, the team with which he spent his last three seasons.
Witherspoon is an 11-year vet, so let’s not kid ourselves about the kind of impact he will have on the field. He's a guy who is clearly past his prime, with his last 100-tackle season coming back in '07 with St. Louis.
However, a positive reputation paired with his relationship with Fisher makes him a somewhat valuable piece of the Rams puzzle.