NFL Free Agency: St Louis Rams Agree to 4-Year Deal With S Quintin Mikell

Ethan NovakAnalyst IIJuly 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Quintin Mikell #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field during player introductions against the Houston Texans at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported on twitter that the St Louis Rams have signed former Philadelphia Eagle safety Quintin Mikell to a four-year deal:

"Rams reach agreement with former Eagles S Quintin Mikell on a four-year deal."

This news was later confirmed by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Confirmed. Philly safety quentin mikell agrees to terms on 4 yr deal w/rams."

Mikell was the most sought after safety in free agency this season, and the veteran will provide an immense upgrade to a Rams' secondary that entered the season with serious question marks. 

Mikell is a 30-year-old SS coming off a Pro Bowl season that saw him rack up 88 tackles, three interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble. 

He will take over as starting strong safety for the Rams, a position that was expected to belong to Craig Dahl heading into the season. 

This move should come as no surprise to fans, as the Rams were expected to make several defensive upgrades and Mikell was reported to be one of their main targets. 

Standing at 5'10" and weighing in at 203 lbs, Mikell is a bit undersized, but he plays with a lot of intensity and has plenty of athleticism.  He isn't the turnover machine that former Ram OJ Atogwe was, but he is still a ball-hawk who is very adequate at defending against the pass and run alike. 

He doesn't allow himself to be beat down-field and plays with the type of intelligence that head coach Steve Spagnuolo loves to see in his defensive players.

As far as how this affects the Rams' free agency targets from here on out, don't be surprised if they go after another safety as well.  They could move Craig Dahl over to free safety, but it would be much more ideal to pick up an experienced veteran to take over the role. 

Brodney Pool is still an option at this point, especially considering the Rams highly pursued Pool last season when they believed they were losing Atogwe to free agency.

When it comes to how this affects the Rams' current roster however, this could mean the Rams are ready to cut ties with veteran safety James Butler. 

Butler has struggled to stay healthy since joining the Rams a couple seasons ago and he is nowhere near living up to the four-year, $14 million contract he signed. 

In other news, the Rams have agreed to a deal with 24 UDFAs, but the complete list is yet to be revealed. 

Schuyler Oordt (Northern Iowa TE), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech QB), Beau Warren (Virginia Tech C) and Jake McQuaide (Ohio State LS) are the some of the few confirmed signings so far.