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St. Louis Rams Flying Under the Radar

Despite their connection to three of the NFL’s major offseason stories, the St. Louis Rams still seem to be flying under the radar. First, there was the question ‘where will Fisher go?’ After a prolonged wait, the man with the ‘stash finally settled on St. Louis, allowing the Dolphins to move forward and begin pursuing another coach, kicking off the annual NFL coaching carousel. After signing with the Rams, one of Fisher’s first moves was to add Gregg Williams to his staff as the defensive coordinator. By now, Williams’ bounty system, employed when he held the same position with the New Orleans Saints, has become common knowledge. If the general idea of paying players to injure their opponents was shocking to some, the more recent audio recordings of Williams explicitly urging his players to do just that has made him persona non grata both inside and outside the National Football League. Fortunately for the Rams, the scrutiny has been and remains primarily on the New Orleans Saints organization. While the Saints are scrambling to find a replacement for coach Sean Payton, suspended for his part in the bountygate scandal, the Rams have still not replaced Gregg Williams. Finally, the Redskins blockbuster trade for the right to select Robert Griffin III has blown the point chart for trades out of the water. It is a deal that may help redefine the value of early first round draft picks in the wake of the implementation of the rookie wage scale. Their trade partner? The St. Louis Rams. This trade has given St. Louis a bevy of pics, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Ricky Williams or Herschel Walker trades. The Cowboys turned the picks they acquired from the Vikings in the Walker trade into a pair of Superbowl victories, while the Redskins were not able to achieve much with the trades they acquired from the Saints for the rights to select Williams. What will the Rams be able to do with their picks?

For Rams fans there is plenty to talk about, plenty of questions, and plenty of excitement, but in an offseason that has seen one of the all-time great NFL quarterbacks hit free agency, Tebowmania move to the Big Apple, and an entire team and coaching staff rocked with a scandal of epic proportions down in the Big Easy, the two-win team from St. Louis hasn’t been getting much press.

Peyton Manning might have a great season in Denver, Tebow might dethrone Sanchez in New York, or perhaps just crash and burn (Michael Silver has probably already got that column written), and it might be years before the Saints can recover from the consequences of their actions, but five years from now, don’t be too surprised if the biggest story from the 2012 offseason has turned out to be the St. Louis Rams and the foundations of a championship football team.

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