Morning Ram-blings: Quinn's value

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- When it comes to the many lists of the NFL's top players, opinions vary from person to person and media outlet to media outlet. Over at Grantland, Bill Barnwell has put a little different spin on the usual player rankings permeating the internet in recent weeks.

Taking his cues from Bill Simmons' basketball rankings, Barnwell has released his top 50 trade value chart this week, with the second piece coming Wednesday morning. Instead of a pure ranking of who is the best player, Barnwell takes into account the player's contract, age and production. The ultimate question for the rankings comes down to would you trade a player for a player -- so in other words the team with the No. 1 ranked player wouldn't trade that player for No. 2, etc.

While the St. Louis Rams are only represented by one player on the list, it's a player who checks in quite high. Defensive end Robert Quinn landed at No. 7 on the list, meaning Barnwell views him as the player who would draw the seventh best return in a trade.

Considering Quinn still has two years left on his rookie deal after the Rams exercised his fifth-year option in the offseason. Even better, the Rams will pay him less than $10 million total over those two seasons. Quinn is coming off a 19-sack season and is still only 24 years old.

Considering some of the names in front of Quinn on the list, No. 7 feels about right. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt is the only defender ranked above him and it's hard to argue with that given Watt's slightly larger sample size of premium production.

But as someone who gets to watch Quinn every day, it would not be at all a stretch to say that he should be the highest-rated non-quarterback on the list. His combination of athleticism and effort is unmatched by any pass-rusher in the league and right now he's an absolute bargain in terms of his contract.

The Rams haven't had many legitimate superstars since receiver Torry Holt's prime but Quinn is clearly the next in line.


A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we took a look at The Associated Press' NFL preseason poll where the Rams checked in at No. 17. ... In this week's Buzz video, we examined a couple of deep sleepers looking to make the roster. ... From there, we went through a few last-minute roster adjustments the Rams made before the start of training camp. ... Finally, we took a look at the work done by rookie quarterback Garrett Gilbert to bolster his shot at landing a roster spot.


Rams coach Jeff Fisher made it clear he doesn't view Michael Sam as a distraction in his interview with Mike and Mike.

Columnist Jason Whitlock weighed in on the Dungy/Sam situation as well.

For those that missed it last week, here's Sam accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on the ESPYs.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas takes a look at 10 of the most memorable training camp moments the Rams have had since arriving in St. Louis.

Joe Lyons writes that rookie safety Maurice Alexander is back to work after recovering from offseason knee surgery.