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Witherspoon Signs With Rams (1 Viewer)

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
on rams official site...

http://www.stlouisrams.com/

this is a HUGE signing for rams... they haven't been able to do much in recent seasons, due to lot of cap slanted towards offense, some bad deals (dead money from warner)... if anything, they have suffered from heavy attrition, losing fletcher, bly & wistrom to FA & aeneas williams to injury... looks like the tide could be turning for the rams...

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
So let's see here, 60 passes a game coach gone, 3 big free agent signing to improve the D.

Hello Steven Jackson fantasy value.

 

acefootball

Footballguy
As I noted in another thread, they will need him to stop SA & Edge next year. Great signing, very solid player that should be entering his prime ! :thumbup:

 

Donnybrook

Footballguy
on rams official site...

http://www.stlouisrams.com/

this is a HUGE signing for rams... they haven't been able to do much in recent seasons, due to lot of cap slanted towards offense, some bad deals (dead money from warner)... if anything, they have suffered from heavy attrition, losing fletcher, bly & wistrom to FA & aeneas williams to injury... looks like the tide could be turning for the rams...
What LB position will he most likey play? WLB or MLB, I hope.
 

acefootball

Footballguy
John Clayton from ESPN just said that the contract was for 33mil over 6 years. No word on the signing bonus. Take it for what it's worth. :eek:

 

Donnybrook

Footballguy
John Clayton from ESPN just said that the contract was for 33mil over 6 years. No word on the signing bonus. Take it for what it's worth. :eek:
Rams | Witherspoon contract updateSun, 12 Mar 2006 13:01:19 -0800

Updating previous reports, Pat Yasinskas, of the Charlotte Observer, reports St. Louis Rams LB Will Witherspoon signed a six-year contract worth $33 million. The deal includes $15 million in bonus money.

 

NoCheese

turn or burn
John Clayton from ESPN just said that the contract was for 33mil over 6 years. No word on the signing bonus. Take it for what it's worth. :eek:
Rams | Witherspoon contract updateSun, 12 Mar 2006 13:01:19 -0800

Updating previous reports, Pat Yasinskas, of the Charlotte Observer, reports St. Louis Rams LB Will Witherspoon signed a six-year contract worth $33 million. The deal includes $15 million in bonus money.
Pretty rich, but w/ the extra $10 million in cap room, sounds about right. Congrats to Ram fans. Would have loved to see him in purple. Seems like the perfect FA (young, no injury history, team guy, etc). Surprised the Panthers let him go so easy, although they do have good LB depth
 

NoCheese

turn or burn
John Clayton from ESPN just said that the contract was for 33mil over 6 years. No word on the signing bonus. Take it for what it's worth. :eek:
Rams | Witherspoon contract updateSun, 12 Mar 2006 13:01:19 -0800

Updating previous reports, Pat Yasinskas, of the Charlotte Observer, reports St. Louis Rams LB Will Witherspoon signed a six-year contract worth $33 million. The deal includes $15 million in bonus money.
Pretty rich, but w/ the extra $10 million in cap room, sounds about right. Congrats to Ram fans. Would have loved to see him in purple. Seems like the perfect FA (young, no injury history, team guy, etc). Surprised the Panthers let him go so easy, although they do have good LB depth
When you consider Brian Williams got 6/32 million, this seems like a pretty good deal. Obviously $5 more guaranteed, but the Jags will be kicking themselves. Williams is merely solid, not spectacular.
 

DoctorDetroit

Chocolate Thunder
Not impressed with Chavous or Glover but I like this move. I officially take back the 4-12 talk. Interesting times in the NFC West.

 

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
on rams official site...

http://www.stlouisrams.com/

this is a HUGE signing for rams... they haven't been able to do much in recent seasons, due to lot of cap slanted towards offense, some bad deals (dead money from warner)... if anything, they have suffered from heavy attrition, losing fletcher, bly & wistrom to FA & aeneas williams to injury... looks like the tide could be turning for the rams...
What LB position will he most likey play? WLB or MLB, I hope.
i haven't heard, but i hope WLB...tinoisamoa played SLB very effectively his rookie season... he can blitz & cover (as can withersoon), so his skill set is aligned with a SLBs responsibilities... though he doesn't have prototypical size...

the rams have the 1.11 & relatively high second...

they could emerge with two more defensive starters if they go with something like huff/jimmy williams (both could play safety or CB) in first & possibly get their MLB of future with d'qwell jackson or abdul hodge, if they are still there.

witherspoon is stout enough to shift to ILB on 3-4 looks... but since they don't seem to have a lot of 3-4 DEs on roster as it is now constituted, i would think they will play more 4-3... haslett has said he would like to mix it up, but he was loaded at DL in NO & didn't have the quality or depth at LB to execute the 3-4...

 
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Donnybrook

Footballguy
Rams | Team intends for Witherspoon to play middle linebacker

Sun, 12 Mar 2006 16:52:15 -0800

Nick Wagoner, of StLouisRams.com, reports the St. Louis Rams plan to have LB Will Witherspoon play middle linebacker. Witherspoon has played the middle before with the Carolina Panthers due to injury situations with Panthers LB Dan Morgan.

:popcorn:

 

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
i was just about to post that... i have spoon in two dynasty/IDP leagues & am stoked... an important thing to remember is that he is such a great athlete, he will without question be a three down LB & should NEVER need to leave field... he doesn't have prototypical MLB size, but is similar to peterson, vilma, pierce, thurman & tatupu... all about 230 lb LBs who have THRIVED on inside in recent seasons...

summary (excerpts?) from press conference...

Linehan:

"We have been busy

It has been a whirlwind

finally we were able to get things done

Glover was the first step then issac and over the weekend we got corey chavous and witherspoon

Witherspoon is a key piece to the plan

Obvious area of need and wanted to fix those through FA

Jay has worked 24 - 7 to make this happen

Witherspoon will play MLB

Good spot for a guy to make all the plays

Has played wil and mike in Carolina

Proud to announce our newest mlb Witherspoon

He is discipline and can cover

Doesn't get catch out of position

Can play in the box and can cover was a big reason to get this guy

He can stay on the field whether it is nickel or dime which adds to his value

Character is a big factor for me and you could ask for better character from the guys we brought in

I said from the beginning that we wanted to retool this team and we have done that.

We aren't done but we are well on our way

We may add one or two more but you have to believe that some of those players are here

We have not closed the door on anyone and when you start make commitment it affects the budget but I am very high on that player and want to bring him back(sorry did not hear the players name)

You need to be strong up the middle and Corey can play both SS and FS."

Witherspoon:

"Glad to say my trips are over

we decided this was a great place for me

signing glover and corey were pieces and so am I

I am the next step closer to being complete

can't say enough about how long I waited for this day

Glad it is over

Time to get ready for camp

Several teams were interested and the Rams were the first choice

Great city and great place, my wife was from about three hours from here

The caliber players are already here and a great system that is trying to be put in place

Even though the D struggled with what they have added will make us a force

There will be not quite in this D

Great time playing the middle in Carolina and I look forward to playing it here

This was the best move for my family and myself. I didn't leave on bad terms it was just time for me to leave

Staff is down to earth. Business is business but we can all be friends at the end of the day

Got in yesterday talked alittle bit

Today we talked schemes and direction of d and I decided that we need to get this deal done

Haslett has a great mind, I have had to play against him for years and I know what he can do with a D

I am going to make plays that is what I do

I played 20 or more game in the middle, productive was the same as on the outside and I will change my game to fit this position

When Dan was hurt my coach told me they were going to put me in the middle and I said lets do it

Nothing is better then having coaches that believe in you and that is what you have here

I am not here to just pick up a paycheck I am here to be part of a team

It is not about me trying to overachieve it is about achieve team goals."

__________________________________________________________________

a fuller text of local beat writer nick wagoner's sunday report... primarily about witherspoon, but with some other TIDBITS on recent & planned FA signings (both posts courtesy of ram bill on a rams homer board)...

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, March 12, 2006

- Will Witherspoon was, without question, one of the top players available on the free agent market. He is a sure tackler, an excellent cover guy and the best part is, he's only 25. Obviously, it's a big investment to land a player like Witherspoon, but he was the team's top free-agent target and with the way the market is set right now, teams had better come with their best offer because if a player such as Witherspoon gets out of town without signing a contract, he probably won't come back unless it's in a different uniform.

- Witherspoon's projected position is middle linebacker, where he will take over the spot that Chris Claiborne had last year. Without question, Witherspoon is an upgrade to this defense. He's a playmaker that gets things done in all facets. However, he's a bit on the smallish side and in that regard is similar to some of the players the team already has at linebacker (again, though, better than what is already on the roster). The addition of Corey Chavous, Witherspoon and La'Roi Glover certainly helps a lot, particularly against the pass and in the pass rush, but are any of the additions going to help stop the run? There is still some room under the cap and this defense could still use a big, physical presence whether it be at tackle or linebacker.

- With that said, it's not like Witherspoon has no experience playing in the middle. Injury problems have forced Witherspoon to fill in for Dan Morgan in the middle for the Panthers. He has fared well there, showing no signs of a dropoff when he moved over from weakside. The Rams have had ups and downs with smaller 'backers in the middle with a home run such as London Fletcher and a disappointment in Robert Thomas. The great thing about Witherspoon is that he is athletic and talented enough to be on the field on all downs in all situations.

- Chavous may be getting older, but he should bring a different look to the secondary. He is still a solid performer and you won't see some of the silly mistakes, missed tackles and things that hampered the secondary a year ago. He's a leader and another of the type of guys that Linehan is searching for to lead this defense. It's expected that Chavous will take over at strong safety with Adam Archuleta likely departing. Signs point to Oshiomogho Atogwe getting the first crack at free safety.

- Even with the additions so far, this defense still needs another linebacker, perhaps another cornerback and some depth for the line. Of course, much of that will come from the draft, but there is still some money to spend in free agency. Maybe, just maybe the Rams can make another move on the open market or bring back one of their own. Linehan said Sunday that he still hoped to bring back defensive tackle Ryan Pickett. Pickett was probably the team's best player against the run a year ago and his presence would be sorely missed. There's no doubt a player like Pickett would help Witherspoon.

- Linehan said the Rams would like to make another move or two in free agency before turning full attention to the draft. Don't expect anything major in the mold of the Witherspoon signing, but there is some money to be spent if used correctly. Pickett might be that guy and it might be someone else. With Witherspoon taking over in the middle, a big, powerful blitzing type from the strongside such as a Bobby Carpenter or Manny Lawson might look even more appealing.

- That's it for now, but of course, the way things are going in free agency, there could be plenty more signings between now and then.

 
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cracKer

Shawn Culcasi
Rams | Team intends for Witherspoon to play middle linebacker

Sun, 12 Mar 2006 16:52:15 -0800

Nick Wagoner, of StLouisRams.com, reports the St. Louis Rams plan to have LB Will Witherspoon play middle linebacker. Witherspoon has played the middle before with the Carolina Panthers due to injury situations with Panthers LB Dan Morgan.

:popcorn:
Assuming, over the past three seasons, that Will Witherspoon has played middle linebacker when Dan Morgan is injured, and weakside when he's not (can't take into account in-game injuries):Witherspoon with Morgan (35 games): 160 solos, 41 assists, 4 sacks, 5 interceptions, 19 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovered

Witherspoon w/o Morgan (12 games): 64 solos, 18 assists, 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 14 passes defended

Averages show that he has performed better pretty much across the board when playing in the middle (higher rate of solo tackles, sacks, interceptions and pass defended)

 

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