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Los Angeles Rams 2022 Offseason Preview

Los Angeles Rams
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The Los Angles Rams have gone all in the past few seasons, and it finally paid off as the team can now say they are Super Bowl champions. While the players can celebrate for the coming weeks, Les Snead needs to address the draft and free agency period. If the team wants to try and go for it again, they can’t expect to roll everything back, and they need to improve in certain areas. With big names becoming free agents, the team has to bring back the starters while also filling the holes in the roster. Having very few draft pics this year, the team will be looking to find bargain signing to address the team’s needs.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Offseason Previews.

Pending Free Agents 

The Rams have a steady mix of veteran starters and role players hitting the open marketing. While some are a little older and might return on more minor contracts to make another run, the younger guys who still want to chase a payday will probably be leaving for a new team if they get offered more money. With only a little money available, the Rams need to retool the team to make another run in the postseason.

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Odell Beckham Jr.

With Robert Woods‘ injury during the middle of the season, Odell filled a valuable role filling in for Woods. During his time in Los Angeles, Beckham’s career had a resurgence after spending time in Cleveland. At the same time, the stats at face value won’t knock anyone off their feet; it’s the things that the box score can’t record that make his impact felt. Although, while in the super bowl, he did end up tearing his ACL, it more than likely means that Odell will be back with the team on a short-term contract to prove he can still play at a high level.

Sebastian Joseph-Day 

While Joseph has been a significant contributor for the defense these past few seasons, he might be one player that ends up wearing a different uniform. With a big payday more than likely coming to Joseph, the Rams won’t have the cap space to match it, which leaves the team looking for a new defensive tackle. While Joseph played a significant role in the defense being a run stopper, the team won’t have the means to keep him.

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Von Miller 

The Rams took a big gamble while trading for Miller at the trade deadline, but it paid off in a big way. With Miller coming up huge in the playoffs and the Super Bowl, he has more than made up for the team giving up the second and third-round pick it took to acquire him. In addition, due to Miller’s age and injury history, his big paydays are behind him, and finding a second home with LA is a big reason we will probably see him back with the Rams on a one or two-year contract that is team-friendly.

Potential Cap Casualties

Due to the lack of cap space, the team could see players cut to free up more cap room. However, if they stand pat and roll everything back again, we could see a situation where the team won’t have the same result as this year. Right now, the team will have to make some tough decisions regarding who will be back in a Rams uniform. With quite a few starters making big money using any means necessary to try and free up cash for the future. With the news of Andrew Whitworth, more than likely retiring, the Rams will gain a large chunk of cap room back, which should help ease the cap situation and allow the team a little more flexibility.

Leonard Floyd ($13 Million Saved) 

Per Over The Cap, the Rams could save a whole lot of money if Floyd would get traded post-June 1. However, with Floyd going to be on the other side of 30, the Rams might be wise to use that money somewhere else and on multiple free agents who can come in and be an immediate impact. Floyd is an excellent complimentary piece alongside Aaron Donald, and it will be tough to let Floyd go; however, if the team needs the cap space trading, Floyd could make an excellent choice. While replacing Floyd could pose a challenge, Sean McVay and his staff can quickly figure out schemes to use defensive linemen in a way that suits them.

A’Shawn Robinson ($4.5 Million Saved) 

With Robinson able to save the Rams close to $5 million in cap space, the team may cut him to free up some money. While Robinson played pretty well in limited snaps, receiving a grade of 72.5 on the season, he was instrumental in being a backup to Donald and serving as a gap blocker for the Rams. Replacing Robinson won’t be as complex as it appears, with more than enough veteran defensive tackles hitting free agency, finding one that can come in on a veteran minimum and serve the same role. From the prestige of winning the championship, veterans will be eager to get on the roster before next season and try and get a ring before they retire.

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Tyler Higbee ($3 Million Saved) 

While Higbee played well for the team down the stretch, his production can easily be replaced. With Higbee not excelling in one area of his game, he is mainly used as a check-down or last resort in McVay’s system. Due to this, the team wouldn’t have a hard time finding a replacement for his production. Catching 61 balls on 81 targets for 560 yards isn’t a very eye-popping stat line, but he made the most of his opportunity as he poses great run after catch ability for the team. The downside is that Matthew Stafford hasn’t been a guy who likes to target his tight end, so cutting Higbee could serve a valuable role or other areas on the team.

Open Market Free Agent Targets 

With the team coming off a Super Bowl victory, they don’t have a lot of holes in the roster. However, with a lack of cap space at their disposal and veterans leaving, the Rams need to path some issues. Whitworth, the veteran left tackle, is expected to retire within the next few weeks, which presents an immediate problem for the front office. With most tackles of Whitworth caliber being out of the teams’ budget, looking into an older and aging veteran could be an option. On the other hand, the team might also use a third-round pick on a tackle. Either way, the Rams will have to be clever in how they use their money this offseason.

Solomon Thomas, Las Vegas Raiders

With Thomas just being a backup for the Raiders and more than likely not getting re-signed, the Rams might be well served to bring him in and pair him alongside Donald. While his stats won’t blow teams away his impact in a two-gap scheme paired alongside Donald, he could easily step in and make an impact along that defensive line. While Thomas won’t garner a lot of money in free agency this year, the team could step in and get him on a bargain.

Nate Solder, New York Giants 

With Solder being 33 years old, he is in the downtick of his career. While Solder had a similar season to Whitworth in terms of snaps played, penalties and sacks allowed, the difference comes in when looking at his grade on the season. At the same time, Solder received a 60.3 and Whitworth an 86.1, the fact that one played alongside a much better offensive line to support him. However, bringing in Solder could see the same result, with Solder playing alongside the same cast as Whitworth did very well could see Solder play at the same caliber as Whitworth last season.

Tracy Walker, Detroit Lions

The 27-year-old safety had a very underrated year for the Lions, starting 15 games and having a good season for the team as a starting safety. With Walker having a 65.1 grade on the season raking just above average, it’s not hard to see from his film that he suffered from a terrible supporting cast. If the lions don’t resign him, then the Rams should be all over him as a way to boost up their secondary. Provided that another team doesn’t offer him a much larger contract, the Rams could very well swoop him up by offering him a one or two-year contract that sees him having a more significant guaranteed chunk of his salary.

Previewing the 2022 NFL Draft 

Snead has done a great job of being aggressive and acquiring talent to help the Rams win the championship. Unfortunately, this cost was nearly all of the team’s future draft picks. With the team getting a third-round selection due to Brad Holmes becoming the Lions’ general manager, the team is taking advantage of the league’s compensatory picks system. However, the biggest steal was getting the third-round pick. With the draft approaching, the team has a lot of different directions they could go with that pick, but one thing is certain the team has to get it right.

Round 3, Pick 106: Linebacker 

Looking at Chad Muma, you first see that he is a prototypical MIKE backer. With a player comparison to Dont’a Hightower, he could serve the Rams exceptionally well. While the team already has good linebacker play, the Rams might add onto a strength. The team deciding to add depth at this position means that they won’t be adding a young player to another area of need. However, the team could flip the other linebackers for future draft picks, with Muma more than able to start his rookie year. Muma has all the tools to be a starting MIKE in the league. With the Rams potentially adding him to the roster, the already scary defense is all the more terrifying.

Early 2022 Expectations 

Fresh off the championship parade, McVay, Donald, and Stafford have already announced that they want to repeat. While the recent history of teams repeating isn’t on their side, they have the advantage of having considerable talent on both sides and, at the same time, maintaining a healthy mix of youth and depth. In contrast, the Rams have a good situation in the NFC due to only a small handful of teams that could challenge the Rams on who comes out. In addition, all of the promising young quarterbacks are in the AFC, and the Rams won’t have to worry about them until the super bowl. Vegas already has the Rams as a favorite to come out of the NFC, which bodes well for the team as they look forward to next season.


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
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