There have been many acquisitions announced across the NFL, but despite the handshake deals, today (Friday, 7/26) was the first day free agents could actually sign contracts with their new teams.
Mikell was among the top safeties available in free agency, and the signing was appropriate given that the Rams lost their former safety and team captain O.J. Atogwe to the Redskins prior to the lockout.
However, things were very calm for St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday.
There were rumors floating around, and people were speculating on possibilities, but nothing happened.
Today, however, the Rams were able to come through for the team and the fans with some exciting signings.
The biggest signing of the day was also the most recent— around 8:45 PM Central, Adam Schefter and ESPN confirmed that the Rams reached a one-year agreement with wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 26-year-old Sims-Walker is well in his prime and was relatively productive during his years in Jacksonville. His best season was in 2009 with 869 yards and seven touchdowns.
He also brings decent size to the group at 6’2” and 214 pounds.
Dahl is 30 years old, but plenty young enough to remain at the top of his game.
Also, Dahl is considered by many to be a mean and enthusiastic player, which is something the Rams clearly need on the offensive line, especially if you saw their inability to pound for a yard or two on goal line and third-and-short situations.
The Rams released their 2010 left guard Jacob Bell, who was grossly overpaid under his contract. This hints that Dahl will start on the left side.
But the Rams did not only focus on offense, they also made an improvement on the defensive side of the ball by signing outside linebacker Zach Diles of the Houston Texans.
Diles is not a flashy signing by any means, but he is an upgrade over the current outside linebackers on the roster.
Thirty-three-year old veteran Na’il Diggs will be returning from injury in 2011 and is able to play either outside linebacker position.
Between the return of Diggs and the signing of Diles, combined with James Laurinaitis in the middle, the team’s linebacking crew should be greatly upgraded.
Between the three signings (Sims-Walker, Dahl, Diles), as well as the signing of the safety Mikell on Tuesday, the Rams have seemingly improved their roster significantly in free agency.
-The Rams reached and agreement with 36-year-old cornerback Al Harris, who will add experience and depth to the roster behind current starters Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell.
-The Rams agreed to terms with their second-round pick, tight end Lance Kendricks (Wisconsin), as well as their third and fourth round picks, wide receivers Austin Pettis (Boise St.) and Greg Salas (Hawaii).
-The Rams are rumored to be strongly pursuing running back Jason Snelling of the Atlanta Falcons, who would be a great addition as the team’s secondary running back behind Steven Jackson.
-The Rams supposedly made a contract offer to defensive tackle Brandon Mebane of the Seattle Seahawks, but Mebane has been highly sought after and their offer is not considered to be the best available for him.
Update 7/30/11: Rams agree to terms with Denver Broncos defensive tackle Justin Bannan. Bannan is a 32-year-old journeyman, but he has come on strong in recent years as a starter for the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, as well as the Broncos in 2010.