St. Louis Rams: 5 Big Name Free Agents Available to Fill Their Needs

Matt WilsonContributor IMay 4, 2011

St. Louis Rams: 5 Big Name Free Agents Available to Fill Their Needs

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    Sam Bradford turned in a record setting rookie season for the St. Louis Rams, but he needs more help around him.
    Sam Bradford turned in a record setting rookie season for the St. Louis Rams, but he needs more help around him.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The St. Louis Rams addressed some major areas of weakness in the 2011 draft by getting some new Red Zone targets for Sam Bradford, an area where the 2010 Rams ranked 30th of 32 teams in  efficiency.

    Just two years removed from a 1-15 season, the Rams have many more areas of weakness that they did not address in the 2011 draft.  Losing O.J. Atogwe leaves yet another hole in an already weak Rams' secondary.

    Other areas of concern for the St. Louis Rams they could address in free agency include a No. 2 running back, an outside linebacker, and possibly a guard to shore up the line and protect the franchise, Sam Bradford.

    Here are the top five free agents the Rams should pursue (assuming that the lock out will end and the free agency period will eventually start). 

Julian Peterson, OLB

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    SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 08:  Linebacker Julian Peterson #59 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after the Lions held the Seattle Seahawks for no gain on fourth down and inches on November 8, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Lio
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Recently released by the Lions, Peterson would fill a large hole in a Ram's roster that features 2008's Mr. Irrelevant, David Vobora at outside linebacker.

    Peterson is a vet and looks to still have some gas in the tank after starting 14 games last season for the Detroit Lions.  His experience could help some of the younger Rams linebackers.

    With the addition of Robert Quinn on the defensive line there should be some holes opening up for the Ram's linebackers and this could benefit Peterson greatly.

Terrell Owens, WR

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass under pressure from Darrell Revis #24 of the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on November 25, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    While the Rams drafted a couple of wide outs in the 2011 draft, they still lack a big play receiver with a proven pedigree.  Instead they have a bunch of similar possession receivers.

    The Rams' were rumored to have interest in T.O. last season, but didn't end up pulling the trigger because fear of him stunting Sam Bradford's growth in the league. However, after one season, it's very obvious that Sam Bradford is destined to be a star in this league and is ready to take on his role as a leader for this young Rams team.

    T.O. also proved last year that he still had some gas in the tank with 72 catches for 983 yards and 9 TDs. With his big play ability, he could open up holes in the running game for an aging Steven Jackson. 

Michael Huff S

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Michael Huff #24 of the Oakland Raiders breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Malcolm Floyd #80 of the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 2
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    With the departure of O.J. Atogwe, the Rams have a huge hole in the secondary, and the veteran Huff could help fill this glaring weakness.  Huff is still young at only 28, but has five solid years of experience in the NFL that could help sure up a weak Rams secondary.

    The Raiders will be pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha, their more important free agent, so it is unlikely Huff will re-sign. That could really provide the Rams with the opportunity to pick up this impact free agent.

Paul Posluszny, LB

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Paul Posluszny #51 of the Buffalo Bills plays against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Pittsburgh won 19-16 in overtime.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Although Posluszny played middle linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, he could slide over to the outside if the Rams decide to pursue him, which they would do because they are set at the middle linebacker position.

    Posluszny ranks high on this list because he is young (only 26 years old), and is a major impact player, finishing third in the league last year with 151 tackles.  This would be a very bold move by the Rams, but having Laurinaitis and Posluszny up the middle would provide a solid core for the Ram's defense for many years to come. 

Darren Sproles, RB

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    DENVER - JANUARY 02:  Running back Darren Sproles #43 of the San Diego Chargers rushes against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Gett
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    With Mike Tolbert and Ryan Matthews on the Chargers' roster, it is unlikely that they the will resign Sproles once the free agency period begins.

    Sproles has proven to be a good second running back with speed and quickness and would be a great change of pace from Steven Jackson, a bigger, bruising back.

    The Rams have shown interest in Sproles before and he is the most likely person on this list to end up on the Rams next season.