The Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl this past February. Immediately afterwards, “run it back” chants began. From trying to convince Aaron Donald to stay in the league, to trying to keep Von Miller on the team, everyone wanted to run it back. The excitement and adrenaline mixed with the adult beverages gave Rams fans multiple topics to think on. The optimism to go back-to-back, the realization that Aaron Donald could retire, Andrew Whitworth was likely to set off into the sunset, and the Rams would likely look much different next year. The cap hasn’t been much of an issue for the Rams because they don’t allow it to. Often getting rid of contracts that aren’t viewed as favorable. Now, we are a few weeks into Free Agency, so let’s look at how the Rams are looking as of 3/26/22.
Key Players Heading Out The Door
- Andrew Whitworth – Whitworth was a key factor in the turnaround of the Los Angeles Rams. He anchored the line and brought some much-needed leadership and experience to the locker room. He will be sorely missed on the Rams’ offensive line, but he won’t be too far as he seems to be in line to work for the Rams as a coach. It will be great for the Rams to keep him around.
- Austin Corbett – The offensive guard is heading to Carolina, where he will be blocking for Christian McCaffrey (at least my keeper fantasy team hopes so). Corbett was an underrated part of the Rams’ run in 2021, as he was a more than serviceable guard. The Rams may look to find his replacement in-house, but it will be difficult to plug someone in and expect the same amount of production Corbett gave.
- Robert Woods – Losing Bobby Trees was gut wrenching for Rams fans. And rightfully so. He was there at the beginning of the come up and rode with the Rams to the top. Woods’ ability to be used in multiple ways will make it a tough loss for L.A. Woods should see close to the same production in Tennessee, and it was nice that L.A. at least sent him where he wanted to go.
- Odell Beckham Jr? – OBJ is coming off of a second ACL tear, but he should be good to go come playoff time. L.A. has publicly made it their mission to get Beckham Jr. back, but he seems to have options. Green Bay, back to Cleveland, Indianapolis, just to name a few. The Rams still seem eager to sign him even after the Allen Robinson signing. Getting Odell back would be big for the Rams, essentially giving Matthew Stafford three WR1s.
- Von Miller – Ouch. I guess you can’t say the trade wasn’t worth it. Von Miller heading to Buffalo for a BAG did not sit right with a few Rams fans. Miller started the off-season saying, “run it back”, which lead to Miller teasing a Denver return, which ultimately resulted in Von Biller. The Rams do have some young depth at OLB, so it will be interesting to see if they address it in the off-season or stick with what they’ve got. Good for Von for getting his money though.
- Darious Williams – Another tough loss for the Rams. Williams is going home to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had a great year in 2020, and then his production dipped in 2021. Williams brings winning experience to a young Jags team, and the Rams will now have to find a new CB2.
- Sebastian Joseph-Day – Joseph-Day isn’t going too far, as he is going to the Rams’ neighbors, the Chargers. SJD flourished under Brandon Staley, so this was a good spot for him to end up at.
The Lone Fresh Face (So Far)
The signing of Allen Robinson was a bit out of nowhere to many Rams fans. WR wasn’t particularly an area of need, and the team made it known they wanted OBJ back. Many suspected Robert Woods was to be moved, and they were right. Such a tough introduction to a fanbase. Woods was beloved by many and will forever be a Ram, but I guess that’s the business.
Stafford has been known as being a gunslinger, and we watch him toss a “screw it” ball every once in a while. Now, Stafford has one of the best 50/50 ball pass catchers in the NFL. The addition of Robinson turns arm punts into potential big gains. My hot take from this addition is that Stafford will throw a significantly less number of INTs next year. He threw quite a few last season, so it may not be the hottest take. But I think the addition of Robinson will be monumental for Stafford. A big bodied receiver with a wide catch radius should be frightening for defenses when preparing for Stafford, Kupp, Robinson, Jefferson, Akers, etc.
- Matthew Stafford – Stafford signed a four year, $160M extension. This team friendly deal opens up the pocketbook for the Rams for the next few years. An extension was bound to occur after Stafford brought a Lombardi to Los Angeles his first year there.
- Joe Noteboom – The LT signed with the Rams on a three year, $40M deal. Noteboom brough similar production to Whitworth when in place of him and has shown he can hold his own on the line. Noteboom proved so when he shut Jason Pierre-Paul down in the playoffs last year. He has been a Ram for his entire career, and finally got the starting gig in year five.
- Brian Allen – Allen signed off on a three year, $18M deal to keep the QB/Center continuity. Allen has been a good Center for the Rams and should continue to grow his game with more experience under his belt.
Bobby Wagner To The Rams?
The Rams and former Seattle MLB Bobby Wagner reportedly have “mutual interest” in one another. The Rams have struggled against the run, and Wagner’s hardnosed play would be a perfect fit. Ernest Jones, drafted in 2021, would probably benefit the most if Wagner were to come home to L.A. Jones had a good rookie season in the limited games he played, showing something rare for the Rams, young promise on the defensive side. Wagner putting Jones under his wing for a year or two would be a tremendous help to Jones’ development.
While the addition of Wagner would be fantastic, the Rams don’t have much play money. With multiple starters heading out, it wouldn’t hurt to spread what free money there is around to multiple positions. Positions like CB, OG, and EDGE opposite of Floyd still need to be addressed. MLB is definitely another position of need, but Ernest Jones showed enough to make the position rank lower on the priorities list.
The reality is, there are a few question marks regarding the 2022 Rams. It isn’t time to panic though, as Snead has proven time and time again, he knows what he’s doing. The Rams, as always, have little draft capital within the first few rounds. This makes scouting even more important. I expect a few current Rams will have to step up and take a bigger role next year. I plan to do an article on those players soon. Until then, keep your eyes peeled and your fingers crossed for more Rams news!
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