Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 2/16/12

The St. Louis Rams made offensive tackle Jason Smith the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, expecting him to be the franchise’s anchor along the offensive line. They signed the Baylor product to a six-year, $61.775 million contract, with $33 million in guaranteed money. Well, after three seasons apparently the Rams have had enough of Smith’s attempt at proving worthy of that pick.

The NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora claims that Smith will definitely not be back with the Rams at his contracted base salary of $10 million next season. The team has decided to move forward with 2010 second-round pick Rodger Saffold as its left tackle, and can probably find a cheaper option at right tackle.

From what we’re hearing from other sources, La Canfora is right, Smith will not be back at that price. In fact, a fresh start with another franchise would probably be best for him.

There aren’t many good left tackle options on the market this offseason and if Smith can convince a team to take a chance on him at his original position, he might get a chance there.

He has never developed into an elite left tackle in St. Louis, but Smith is just 25 years old, and he has missed part of two seasons thanks to injuries. He needs to be on the field consistently before we actually can write him off as a total loss. But because of how expensive his deal is for next season, the Rams simply can’t afford to keep him.

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