Rams' new staff has a tough task at WR

Alden Gonzalez

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams have a wide receiver problem. They've had one for nearly a decade. They've had one, perhaps, since Torry Holt's 1,189-yard season in 2007. For the next eight years, the Rams didn't have a single player who caught for 800 yards, let alone 1,000. The streak finally ended with Kenny Britt, who notched a career-high 1,002 receiving yards -- despite hauling in only 61.8 percent of his targets -- in 2016.

Britt is headed for free agency now, as is Brian Quick, the former No. 33 overall pick who hasn't quite panned out. And it's up to a new staff, led by the offensive-minded Sean McVay, to ameliorate the Rams' longtime problem area, both with the scheme and through free agency.

The only established receiver locked in for 2017 is Tavon Austin, who was given a four-year, $42 million extension weeks before the 2016 season. Behind him are Bradley Marquez, who has made most of his contributions on special teams, and five players coming off rookie seasons in which they barely played: Pharoh Cooper, Paul McRoberts, Marquez North, Nelson Spruce and Mike Thomas. But the Rams are expected to have about $40 million in salary-cap space, and several intriguing options will exist in free agency.

McVay seeks "guys that handle the ball in general."

"You can't have enough playmakers," McVay said. "Certainly, that's something that we're always looking to upgrade. That receiver position is very important. A lot of yards and offensive production goes through that room. We want to try to find a way to get the best players on the field."

Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Terrelle Pryor, Kenny Stills and Robert Woods are in line to be among the best receivers available, along with Britt.

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