EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Although the moves weren't the ones St. Louis Rams fans might have been hoping for -- i.e. contract restructures or releases -- the team has taken care of some business in advance of free agency.
The Rams rendered decisions on their group of restricted and exclusive rights free agents. Chief among those free agents is starting safety Rodney McLeod, a restricted free agent whom the team tendered at the second-round level. McLeod received the second-round tender, which amounts to a one-year contract offer for $2.4 million.
Other teams can still attempt to sign McLeod, but the Rams have the right to match any offer. If they choose not to, they'd received a second-round draft choice.
The Rams also extended tender offers to quarterback Austin Davis and tight end Cory Harkey, both at the minimum level of one-year and $1.5 million. Because Davis and Harkey were offered the lowest-level deals, the Rams still have matching rights on outside contract offers, but would not receive compensation if they declined those rights.
Center Tim Barnes, the fourth of the Rams' four restricted free agents, did not receive a tender offer and is set to become a free agent. The Rams could theoretically re-sign him at a later date for less money than any of the tenders would have required.
The Rams also offered tenders to exclusive-rights free agents Chase Reynolds and Brandon Washington. Reynolds has been a special-teams ace for the past two seasons and the Rams have devoted that time to developing Washington at multiple spots on the offensive line. Those tenders essentially force Reynolds and Washington to play for the Rams or not play at all, as outside teams can't make offers to exclusive-rights free agents.