As suspected, the St. Louis Rams sat idle in the opening minutes and hours of Day 1 of the NFL free-agency period. Fans should not pull out their fingernails, though, or scream, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Rather, the franchises that work to make the big splash in free agency frequently end up being the same teams that earn the top 10 – 12 picks in the yearly draft.

It is all about having a plan – and a great deal of patience. Know when to make the calculated moves. Sometimes, not pulling off a trade may be the best trade. In its short tenure, the Rams’ brass of Jeff Fisher, Les Snead and Kevin Demoff has displayed a fondness for filling some hot spots in free agency. But they will not give away the bank and exceed market value for players, preferring to build the roster through the draft instead.

For St. Louis, a focal point entering free agency centered on retaining the player the franchise drafted in 2010, offensive lineman Rodger Saffold. Heavy rumors swirling Sunday night and into Monday morning, though, linked the former second-round choice to several other teams. Despite Saffold’s injury history, his versatility and athletic ability to play both tackle spots – in addition to guard – sent his stock soaring, and the Oakland Raiders swooped in with a five-year deal worth $42.5 million, including $21.6 million in guaranteed money.

Rams fans are now questioning the plan moving forward. Who will protect Sam Bradford, the starting quarterback returning from ACL surgery? Who’s going to open holes for Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham in the running game?

Don’t panic. While the moves below confirm the abundance of activity on the first day of free agency, there is still a lot of shuffling to go.

NFC West Free-Agent Signings

49ers PK Phil Dawson (re-signed)

49ers QB Blaine Gabbert (from Jaguars in exchange for sixth-round pick)

Cardinals OT Jared Veldheer

Free-Agent Visits Scheduled

Seattle DT Jason Hatcher – March 12

Seattle TE Jermichael Finley – March 12

Big-Name Cuts on Day 1

Bears DE Julius Peppers

Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware

Cowboys WR Miles Austin

Key Signings Around the League

New Orleans DB Jairus Byrd

Tampa Bay CB Alterraun Verner

Raiders RB Darren McFadden (re-signed)

Ravens OT Eugene Monroe (re-signed)

Broncos DB T.J. Ward

Browns ILB Karlos Dansby

Browns DB Donte Whitner

Buccaneers DE Michael Johnson

Colts DE Arthur Jones

Colts CB Vontae Davis

Colts PK Adam Vinatieri

Dolphins OT Branden Albert

Eagles DB Malcolm Jenkins

Eagles PT Donnie Jones (re-signed)

Falcons DE/DT Tyson Jackson

Giants OG Geoff Schwartz