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Rams not ready to bail on Jason Smith, yet

Kansas City Chiefs v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

The Rams used the second overall pick in the 2009 draft on tackle Jason Smith, passing on guys like Tyson Jackson.

Um, Aaron Curry.

Mark Sanchez?  Andre Smith?

And Darrius Heyward-Bey.

OK, so it’s not as if the Rams in hindsight picked another Mandarich with Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, and Deion Sanders on the board.  Still, Smith is due to earn a base salary of $10 million in 2012, only $1 million of which is guaranteed.  And we were told several weeks ago that at some point he’ll have to reduce that amount in order to stay with the team.

For now, though, the Rams are willing to let him prove that he deserves to keep most of it.  “We’re looking forward to putting him in the program and developing him,” G.M. Les Snead tells Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Concussions have limited Smith to 29 appearances in 48 possible games.  Which that doesn’t bode well for Smith’s future with the team.

“With any player we always talk about reliability,” Snead said of Smith, who started out as a left tackle and has since been shifted to the right side.  “Because when you have a player and you prepare for games, you like to know that player’s going to be there each and every week or it’s going to cost you consistency.  It’s not just with Jason but with any player who’s had some unreliability because of durability concerns.  That’s always a concern.”

As long as the Rams have the ability to carry Smith’s salary, his cap number won’t a concern.  And the Rams don’t have to make any final decisions about his future for months.

Still, it remains extremely unlikely that the Rams ultimately will decide to pay him $10 million for 2012.

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15 Responses to “Rams not ready to bail on Jason Smith, yet”
  1. blacknole08 says: Feb 27, 2012 3:07 PM

    I’ve practically given up on most of the first round class of 2009.

  2. chocopoppy says: Feb 27, 2012 3:16 PM

    So G.M. Snead is advocating that Smith be more “reliable” and start hiding his concussion problems?

    I have no doubt that he’ll be getting a call from Mr. Goodell who, after all, is all about player safety.

  3. sledgehorn says: Feb 27, 2012 3:21 PM

    BUSTS (9):
    Jason Smith
    Tyson Jackson
    Aaron Curry
    Andre Smith
    Darrius Heyward-Bey
    Aaron Maybin
    Larry English
    Peria Jerry
    Donald Brown

    Average at best (14):
    Mark Sanchez
    Micheal Crabtree
    B.J Raji
    Knowshon Moreno
    Malcom Jenkins
    Eugene Monroe
    Josh Freeman
    Micheal Oher
    Robert Ayers
    Vontae Davis
    Kenny Britt
    Eric Wood
    Chris Wells
    Ziggy Hood

    Actually good NFL players…(9)
    Matthew Stafford
    Brian Orakpo
    Brian Cushing
    Jeremy Maclin
    Brandon Pettigrew
    Alex Mack
    Percy Harvin
    Clay Matthews
    Hakeem Nicks

    And I feel like i’m being generous…

  4. nineroutsider says: Feb 27, 2012 3:26 PM

    blacknole08 says: Feb 27, 2012 3:07 PM

    I’ve practically given up on most of the first round class of 2009.
    —————————————————————-
    Yeah seriously…they aren’t total busts but they aren’t anything special…case in point: Michael Crabtree.

  5. theroc5156 says: Feb 27, 2012 3:28 PM

    Looks like Andre Smith wasn’t that much of a bad pick after all.

  6. gojags says: Feb 27, 2012 3:45 PM

    Glad to see Eugene Monroe not in the list. Eugene is a star LT in the making.

  7. staff2cj4td says: Feb 27, 2012 3:50 PM

    hahahaha I remember the media and fans saying Detroit should select Smith, Monroe or Curry and had to pass on Stafford………….ummmmmmmmmmmmm how’d that work for ya!!

    Stafford = STAR IN THE MAKING!!

  8. lbcoach34 says: Feb 27, 2012 3:51 PM

    They have no choice – especially if they trade out of #2…essentially they’re passing on Kalil – and if they trade down to #6 – they’ll likley be passing on Blackmon too…and likely Moris Claiborne – so at #6 – I’m not certain they wouldn’t take Trent Richardson – but it seems like a tough situation – they have to be hoping to trade with CLE and still be able to get Blackmon.

    I suppose Coples might be an option too

  9. hanspard says: Feb 27, 2012 3:57 PM

    I think Heyward-Bey got himself out of the “bust” bin last year, but he certainly isn’t a star.

  10. pixelito says: Feb 27, 2012 5:18 PM

    Mark Sanchez? Is that a joke?

  11. ttommytom says: Feb 27, 2012 5:45 PM

    For the Giants I wanted
    1:Harvin
    2:Nicks
    3:Maclin

    I think the GM (Reese) wanted
    1:Harvin
    2:Mackin
    and knowing he would have to trade up to get one of them.

    and IIRC, Reese thought without a trade-up it was going to be between DHB and Nicks.

    I don’t think Britt was really in the picture. DHB might have been smoke.

    Britt is a talented knucklehead and Harvin is special but has those headache issues (here’s hoping those clear up). Maclin is very good too but I’d take Nicks over any of the them.

    Draft Re-do and SF would take Nicks too…Crabtree is invisible. Maybe it’s Smith or the O or his foot. Something wrong there.

  12. realfootballfan says: Feb 27, 2012 6:12 PM

    sledgehorn ,

    Are you sure about your list? Moreno would be a bust being a number 12 pick and the first running back in that draft, Josh Freeman would hardly be considered average because he had one bad year playing with limited receiving help after his stellar second year, and heyward-Bey played pretty well last year, just miwwing a 1000 yard season. Raji, similar to Freeman, had a very good second year where he anchored a great defensive line, then took a step back, and as much as Sanchez gets dumped on, he’s won 4 road playoff game in the hardest media market to be.

  13. gerard33 says: Feb 27, 2012 6:18 PM

    Tyson Jackson’s not really a bust, he’s pretty good, just not 3rd overall good. Still a solid starter no Chief fan really plans on replacing any time soon. Ask any team who considered running to ball to his side last year…. oh wait, after a while they didn’t consider it.

    Now, a bunch of ignorant people will give this thumbs down.

  14. realfootballfan says: Feb 27, 2012 6:21 PM

    sledgehorn ,

    Are you sure about your list? Moreno would be a bust being a number 12 pick and the first running back in that draft, Josh Freeman would hardly be considered average because he had one bad year playing with limited receiving help after his stellar second year, and Kenny Britt was just the most dynamic weapon in football at receiver until he tore his ACL.

    Furthermore, heyward-Bey caught 60 some odd balls, just missing a 1000 yard season, hardly what I’d call a bust. Raji, similar to Freeman, had a very good second year where he anchored a great defensive line, then took a step back, and as much as Sanchez gets dumped on, he’s won 4 road playoff games in the hardest media market to be.

    Michael Oher is not a franchise LT like his movie proclaimed him to be, but he’s an above average RT, which is fine for where he was drafted. And are you kidding me on Vontae Davis, he’s easily one of the AFC’s best cornerbacks.

    Just saying, your list is kind of out of wack for what has happened with these players so far.

  15. docboss says: Feb 27, 2012 10:37 PM

    Wow. I guess all the pundits that thought Smith was worthy of the pick were wrong! IF the Rams can get enough for RG3 to draft a starting LOT (good luck with that) or a ROT (possible), there is a chance Smith could take a reduction in salary and move to guard. He is a good run blocker, but has major issues with pass protection. The unknown is his proclivity toward concussions. Saffold can play the LOT possition, but needs some coaching. That is why I still think the Rams may try to move the RG3 pick and still get Kalil. Would the Vikes move from three to four (assuming the Rams trade their pick with Cleveland) for an extra second or third rounder? Just thinking.

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