Free agent fear factor: Where do the Rams HAVE to upgrade?

The Rams made their big splash so far in free agency with the signing of free safety Quintin Mikell. And we welcome him gladly. But now, with no more moves 48 hours later, the honeymoon period has worn off and the rumblings of frustration are reverberating among Rams fans.

While Billy Devaney and Kevin Demoff work quietly on their list of priorities, the Cardinals have consummated their Kevin Kolb deal and beefed up their offensive line with Daryl Colledge, and the Seahawks have girded for battle with Sidney Rice, Robert Gallery, and Tavaris Jackson and have plenty more cap room to spend. (Reportedly they are now working to keep DT Brandon Mebane in seafoam green.)

How deep and how broad does this frustration run? Here’s a quick poll that I posted this afternoon on Twitter, repackaged for you to vote on. 

Update: Poll Closed. Click to expand these results

Poll Results

We got a total of nineteen responses on Twitter, with outside linebacker surprising me a little as the top priority with 6 votes. As in our assessment of our wide receiver situation, the season-ending game against Seattle weighs strongly on people’s minds.

@RamsHerd OLB for sure I sat in the stands @Seattle watching Lynch get the edge all night long. Need to stop the run at the point of attack

However, it was a close race with no clear winner of the fear factor. DT racked up 5.5 votes, Guard (presumably RG) tallied 4 votes, backup RB 2, Jason Brown got 1 vote of no confidence, and the remaining half a vote was used on the WR position.

Does that jibe with the Rams’ plans? The only strong free agent rumors we heard recently were for Saints linebacker Scott Shanle, who just re-upped in New Orleans. (A good thing, too, as Shanle was one of the very worst linebackers rated by Pro Football Focus.) Beyond that, Jim Thomas raises the names of the Vikings’ Ben Leber, the Texans’ Zach Diles, and Eagles’ Stewart Bradley as possibilities. None are big-name players, but then Spagnuolo’s defensive system doesn’t depend on blitzing from the outside linebacker spots to crash the pocket. 

That said, fans need to remember the big free agent fish that the Rams already landed: offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. We got him, and the other teams didn’t. And with the fortuitous two-day lifting of the lockout at draft time, Sam Bradford has been able to immerse himself in it all summer long.