Roundup: Rams start talks with potential picks

The Rams, who hold the No. 1 overall selection in the draft, have begun preliminary negotiations with Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The team already has talked with Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy and even Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, but it isn’t playing favorites.

“All the people who are in the discussion (for No. 1 overall), we’ve talked to their agents,” Rams executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff told the Post-Dispatch. “We’re really just comparing notes. Also, it may take some time, so we figured we’d get a head start.”

St. Louis’ interest in Bradford or Clausen could be tempered if the team made a move to acquire Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb. The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing a league source, reported Wednesday that the Rams were on the verge of trading for McNabb, but those reports were quickly rebuked by GM Billy Devaney.

Other news making its way around the Web on a Thursday:

  • Panthers coach John Fox shot down a rumor that the team was looking to deal RB DeAngelo Williams to the Lions. Fox told the Charlotte Observer: “(Williams) wouldn’t be one of the guys on the top of my lists to deal (away). We’ve had no conversations about any of our backs.”
  • Sticking with the Lions, RB Kevin Smith wrote on his blog that he was right on schedule to return from anterior cruciate ligament surgery, via The Detroit News.
  • Bears coach Lovie Smith said TE Greg Olsen would be a big part of the offense this season, according to the Chicago Tribune. “He can be successful in this offense — not can — will. He will be successful in this offense,” Smith said while trying to quell fears that the tight end will be obsolete in new coordinator Mike Martz‘s offense.
  • Free-agent RB Brian Westbrook is on the Vikings’ radar, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. “I do not know if we are far enough down the free-agent trail yet, but he is certainly a guy that is on our board and on our list, as are others,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said. But Childress did say there is no interest in Westbrook “right this second.”
  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun that he expects Haloti Ngata to be “a Raven forever.” Ngata is in the final year of his rookie contract after being a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2006.
  • Former Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica is a good sport, talking to the Arizona Republic about his ill-fated celebration in which he tore his ACL after making a kick. “My jump was excellent,” Gramatica said. “It was my landing I needed to work on. It was funny. It was part of my career. I talk about it all the time. You have to laugh about it.”
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