The St. Louis Rams made receiver Mardy Gilyard the first pick on the draft’s third day a year ago, selecting the former UC Bearcat with the 99th overall pick. Gilyard was given ample opportunity to earn playing time as a rookie, but failed to capitalize and rode the bench for one of the most wideout-needy teams in football.
Gilyard did nothing to suggest a bright future, so the Rams turned around and used third- and fourth-round draft picks on receivers this year. Gilyard has been a no-show for St. Louis’ player-organized offseason activities.
On Friday, former Rams assistant head coach Rick Venturi — now a radio co-host for 101 ESPN St. Louis — passed along a “rumor” that Gilyard has asked the Rams to trade him.
“Rookie sensation Ram receiver Mardy Gilyard, who didn’t show up the other day for the players minicamp … It’s rumored that he asked for a trade,” Venturi stated. “Are you kidding me? Nobody knows who the hell he is. What would you give up for him? An old, used kicking ball? And a ticket to a fourth-quarter preseason game in the NFL?
“Mardy Gilyard, you gotta be kidding me.”
NFL players are currently not allowed to have contact with teams, but Gilyard or his agent could have passed along the trade request during the brief lifting of the lockout in April, or before it began in March.
Venturi was on the Rams’ staff as recently as 2008. The organization has gone through heavy turnover since, but it’s possible he still has some inside connections.
Gilyard caught six passes for 63 yards as a rookie. Whether or not the trade demand rumor is true, Gilyard’s time in St. Louis appears to be approaching a swift conclusion.