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Rams show interest in LB Akeem Ayers

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams apparently have their eyes on bolstering their linebacker corps.

According to a league source, the team has expressed interest in New England linebacker Akeem Ayers. With the first day of free agency gone, it's more likely a player like Ayers will take some visits. Logically, one with the Rams would make sense though it's unclear when that could happen.

Ayers would be a logical fit in St. Louis as a potential Sam linebacker capable of playing the run and even as a pass-rushing end in Gregg Williams' defensive scheme. The Tennessee Titans originally drafted Ayers in the second-round of the 2011 NFL draft, and he played in Nashville until October of last season when the Patriots traded for him.

Although Rams coach Jeff Fisher was gone from Tennessee when the Titans drafted Ayers, there are a couple of coaches on staff that are familiar. Williams served as the Titans' senior defensive assistant in 2013 and linebackers coach Frank Bush served in the same role in Tennessee in 2011 and 2012 when Ayers was playing there.

In his first three-plus years in the league, many considered Ayers something of an underachiever but he had at least some measure of success upon his arrival in New England. After appearing in just two games in the first seven weeks, the Titans traded Ayers to the Patriots. From there, he posted 17 tackles, four sacks and an interception, working primarily as a pass-rusher.

For his career, Ayers has 241 tackles, 13 sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.

If the team's interest in Ayers doesn't make clear their desire for help at linebacker, it should be more obvious when considering they had expressed some interest in Curtis Lofton before he agreed to terms with the Oakland Raiders. Moments after the Lofton news, New York Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams tweeted that the Rams had reached out to his agent.