Well, they aren’t the high-profile names that were floated out in the couple months leading up to free agency; however, it appears that there are finally some moves about to be made at Rams Park that involve bringing in outside reinforcements.
The first of those names is former Florida State cornerback/return man Greg Reid. Reid – despite his relatively small 5’8, 180-ish frame – was a very productive cornerback for the Seminoles from 2009-2011 and a standout kick returner as well. Reid’s signing hasn’t been confirmed yet by the team, but a facebook status yesterday blatantly hints that he’ll be wearing blue and gold in 2014.
— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) March 23, 2014
The thing about Reid, however, is that he’s been out of football for almost two years now. He was booted from FSU after the 2011 season after being arrested for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license. He went on to enroll at Valdosta State for his senior year. Two weeks after his transfer, he tore ligaments in his knee and underwent surgery that forced him to sit out the season. After his rehab, Reid would injure his knee yet again while going through pre-draft workouts. According to reports, he’d been a late selection hopeful in last year’s draft, but the second consecutive injury forced teams to back off.
Another year later, Reid now appears to be healthy and had an eye-opening performance at FSU’s pro day last week. Additionally, his level of play at FSU had him looking like a lock to get drafted following what would have been his senior season in 2012. His strongest year came as a sophomore in 2010 when he led the ACC with 17 passes defensed and three forced fumbles before ultimately being named the defensive MVP of the team’s Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over South Carolina.
I’m betting Marcus Lattimore remembers that game:
What the Rams are getting then is a low-risk signing of a guy with everything to prove and hopefully the motivation to do just that. He seemed to have reached a faith-shakingly (possibly made up word?) dark place after the revelation of his second knee injury. Scroll down about a third of the way through this Orlando Sentinel article from May 2013 for some revelatory tweets Reid sent out following the news.
However, our colleagues at Ramblin Fan have his interview from Florida State’s 2014 pro day, and he seems genuinely excited about the game and confident in his health.
Reid figures to slide into a nickelback role as a Ram, and his combination of speed and toughness seem an ideal fit for Gregg Williams’ style of play. We’ll just have to see what happens.
The second name being tossed around is Jet’s castout Mark Sanchez. The quarterback currently known as “Buttfumble” has obvious ties to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, whom he played under from his rookie season in 2009 until Schottenheimer’s New York exodus in 2011. It’s just interest at this point according to head coach Jeff Fisher, but the move does make some sense.
The Rams do need a backup quarterback following the departure of Kellen Clemens to San Diego. As it stands, the untested Austin Davis is the sole backup for Sam Bradford, and that isn’t entirely comforting given the uncertainty of Bradford’s recovery from knee surgery. There is speculation that the Rams will use a mid-to-late round draft pick on a rookie signal caller, which is a fine move, but having a veteran behind Bradford – even Sanchez – is probably safe just in case.
Sanchez was cut by the Jets to save them $2 million roster bonus that would have been due to the fifth-year man if he’d remained with the team. There seems to be an overwhelming “meh” factor of a potential Sanchez-signing on social media, and it’s probably justified. Sanchez was ghastly in 2012, throwing 18 interceptions compared to 13 touchdowns and garnering a QB rating of 66.9, before suffering a shoulder injury in the 2013 preseason that caused him to miss the entire year.
Should both moves come to fruition, the Rams will have added two more players who will be on the comeback trail in 2014. They’ll join Bradford, tackle Jake Long, and possibly center Scott Wells as players looking to overcome serious 2013 injuries and help get the Rams on track in the NFC West. It’s tough to be floored by either move when hopes were high for one or two elite free agent signings, but it does represent Fisher and general manager Les Snead staying true to their prior statements of laying low in free agency and building through the draft.
May, where are you?