2011 NFL Free Agency: What's Next for the Rams at Defensive Tackle?

Brian TaylorCorrespondent IIIJuly 28, 2011

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 23:  Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane #92 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Baltimore Ravens at Qwest Field on December 23, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Ravens 27-6.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

As most Rams fans know, St. Louis could use an upgrade at the defensive tackle position.

The question is will the Rams organization sign a free agent to meet this need? Just for the sake of this article let's not focus on the financials of how all of these free agents could be brought in.

Last season, the Rams defensive front showed major improvement. The potential of Chris Long was finally seen and unexpected contributions from veterans Fred Robbins and James Hall showed that the Rams may be one piece away from establishing a solid front four.

The first thing the Rams should do to help out the defensive tackle position is to re-sign Gary Gibson. He may be up there in age, but he is an effective player who finds his way into the rotation.

The tricky part is finding a solid free agent that they believe can be a contributor for years to come.

Barry Cofield, the man many people rumored to come to St. Louis, is now possibly out of the mix as he has agreed to terms with the Washington Redskins.

I say possibly because nothing is set in stone yet. Free agents can't officially sign until Friday. Brandon Stokley has already backed out of his agreement with the Redskins. His agent said via Twitter, "Spoke too soon. Brandon Stokley won't sign with the Redskins. Too many WR's signed." So there is still a chance Cofield ends up in a Rams jersey. 

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears attempts to avoid a sack by Cullen Jenkins #77 of the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Brandon Mebane is an interesting option for the Rams. He played on the division rival Seattle Seahawks for four seasons, and he is just 26 years old.

Mebane increased his production every season he has played except for last season because of a calf injury. He may be a little more pricey than the Rams might want, but he could be a long term plug at the position.

This one is definitely a reach, but why not Cullen Jenkins? Yes, I understand that he played in a 3-4 scheme. Yes, I understand that he is 30 years old, but the team that many people have him rumored to, the Redskins, just signed Barry Cofield.

The New England Patriots could also have an interest, but they just acquired Albert Haynesworth. Why not give it a shot?

The St. Louis Rams definitely could use an upgrade at the defensive tackle position, and I would love to see them add a guy like Brandon Mebane. But if Steve Spagnuolo can turn another veteran unknown into a steal that would satisfy me and the Rams defensive would take another step towards greatness.