Seven players who ended the season on the practice squad were signed to the Rams' roster: TE Mark Anelli, LBs Mike Brown and Tim McGarigle, CB Josh Lay, WRs Marques Hagans and Dominique Thompson and RB John David Washington.
CB Jerametrius Butler, who rarely played this season, is expected to be released in February unless the team believes he could be traded. Butler was a no-show for the team's final meeting Jan. 2.
After finishing his first season as a head coach with an 8-8 record, Scott Linehan returns. No changes are expected on his staff. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett doesn't expect to be sought after as a head coach.
FREE-AGENT UPDATE: During the season, the Rams tied up two potential free agents with the signing of DE Leonard Little and LB Pisa Tinoisamoa. The most notable unrestricted free agent will be WR Kevin Curtis. The Rams would like him back, but they probably won't pay top money to do that. Curtis recently hired agent Tom Condon to represent him in contract talks.
CB Travis Fisher, who ended the season on injured reserve, is not expected back. WR Shaun McDonald also could leave as a free agent, but the Rams would like to re-sign OT Todd Steussie and P Matt Turk.
FEELING A DRAFT
The Rams are at the top of a group of 8-8 teams because of strength of schedule, so they will select 13th in the first round of the draft. They will then drop down to 20th in the second round, before moving up in subsequent rounds. The biggest priority is improving a defensive line that needs more of a pass rush and better run support.
Defensive end: Except for Leonard Little, the pass rush was non-existent in 2005, and speed off the other edge is needed.
Nose tackle: Jimmy Kennedy doesn't appear to be the answer there, so a large body is needed at the position.
Wide receiver: Some youth would improve the depth if the team can't find a way to keep unrestricted free agent Kevin Curtis.
WR Torry Holt might have minor knee surgery, but a decision hasn't been made yet. ... RT Alex Barron possibly could have minor knee surgery. ... LB Dexter Coakley was scheduled to have a plate taken out of his ankle from a 2005 surgery.
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