One of the major themes at Rams Park this offseason is developing all those draft picks piled up in the past two years, not making a big splash in free agency.

“When you look at free agency, this is the year we’ve targeted probably to be a little less active ... than others,” Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff said.

Then again, the Rams basically have said they’re not going wild in free agency every March since coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead joined forces with Demoff in 2012.

The results?

• The Rams invested a potential $96.5 million worth of contracts in free-agent pickups Cortland Finnegan, Scott Wells, and Kendall Langford in the first week of 2012 free agency. (Finnegan was told last week he’s being released.)

• In 2013, they invested a potential $79.4 million in free-agent pickups Jake Long and Jared Cook, and in re-signing William Hayes.

That’s not exactly Dan Snyder throwing dollars around like Monopoly money, as he did in days gone by in Washington, but it’s still a lot of money.

This time, it does sound like the Rams mean it when saying they’ll be less active in free agency.

“Our biggest ‘need’ is continuing to let our young guys develop and get experience,” Snead said. “There’s no glaring, glaring, glaring needs per se (on the roster). And then we have nine picks in the draft, and some good picks. And it’s a good draft. So you’re aware of that.”

As for free agency ....

“If there’s someone who can help us, who can fill a role, we’ll still explore that,” Demoff said.

The Rams did some “exploring” on Saturday, the first of the three-day negotiating period that serves as a prelude to the official start of free agency on Tuesday.

With clubs careful not to step over the line and risk tampering charges, not much information leaks out during the three-day window. But to no one’s surprise, the Rams did contact the agent for Tennessee cornerback Alterraun Verner on Saturday, according to league sources.

It’s only natural considering Verner was drafted by Fisher in 2010 in Tennessee and played for several current Rams assistants there. In addition, new Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was with Verner last year in Tennessee and spoke glowingly about him last month during his introductory news conference in St. Louis.

But the Rams have far from a clear playing field on Verner. The Tennessean in Nashville reported that Detroit, Minnesota, the New York Giants, New York Jets and Pittsburgh also made inquiries.

One possible alternative for the Rams if they don’t sign Verner was swept off the market Saturday night when cornerback Sam Shields re-signed with Green Bay. Initial reports of contract terms were an eye-opening four years and $39 million, with a $12.5 million signing bonus. But full details, such as the amount of guaranteed money, weren’t immediately available.

(Teams can re-sign their own players at any time in the offseason; free agents signing with new teams must wait until Tuesday.)