EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams have said goodbye to their share of free agents in the past week and held on to a pair of projected starters in guard Rodger Saffold and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
Although the Rams' relative inactivity on the market was expected, perhaps nobody expected it to be this slow. Keeping Saffold was a big, albeit lucky, move that allowed the team to retain its top offseason priority. Dunbar was a low-cost, logical signing that helps solidify another linebacker spot and will give Dunbar a chance to rebound from what was essentially a lost 2013 season.
Aside from those two moves, the Rams have spent time vetting a handful of outside free agents who have visited St. Louis. As of Monday morning, none of those visits have materialized into contracts, however.
Here's a rundown of the players the Rams have expressed interest in or visited with in the past week.
• Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz is the only outside player the Rams openly chased on the first day of free agency. He figured as a potential Saffold replacement but before the Rams could get a visit, Schwartz was on a plane to New York to sign with the Giants.
• In that same vein, the Rams began bringing in options as possible Saffold replacements in guards Davin Joseph and Daryn Colledge. Both visited St. Louis and left without contracts. Of course, the Saffold saga broke the Rams way while that duo was in town, so any plans to potentially sign either right away might have shifted dramatically with Saffold back in the fold. The Rams could still have interest in adding one of the veteran linemen but they could also wait for prices to drop further. With one-year deals already becoming popular on the market, it seems neither Joseph nor Colledge would command much money or more than a one-year deal.
• The Rams apparently feel better about their situation at cornerback and safety than outside observers. Their interest in Tennessee cornerback Alterraun Verner was superficial at best and a smoke screen at worst. Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd was never an option at his price. As for others, the Rams haven't even visited with a corner or safety a week in. There are still some options out there in free agency, but the market for defensive backs has been extremely active so far, leaving little from which to choose.
• The Rams visited with wide receiver Kenny Britt over the weekend but he too departed without a contract. Britt is apparently healthy and also likely will land somewhere on a one-year "prove it" deal, but reports indicated he was going to visit with New England and Washington and perhaps more before making a decision.
• Quarterback Shaun Hill is expected to visit with the Rams on Monday and could quickly materialize as the veteran backup option to replace Kellen Clemens, who signed with the San Diego Chargers. Hill is 34 but is familiar with Rams quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti. The Rams attempted to land Hill in 2012, but he chose Detroit instead. Hill would make sense as a veteran placeholder until a potential 2014 draft pick would be ready to step in as the No. 2 behind starter Sam Bradford.
• The usual "waves" of free agency that take a month or so to play out have crashed on shore much faster than usual. The addition of the three-day, pre-free agency negotiating window is probably the reason for the faster spending because agents have a good feel for what clients can land and it's allowed the middle class to find jobs at a record rate. At this point, no matter who the Rams look to add it'll almost certainly be coming from the bargain bin.