With free agency opening on March 13th, the Los Angeles Rams could look to add some pieces to their squad. Who might some of those names be?
EDGE Pass Rush
The Rams could use some more pass rush talent, and pairing an elite edge pass rusher with Aaron Donald in his prime could be a wise move. But, there are a couple of problems with this. First, rarely do elite pass rushers make it to free agency. Second, if they do, they receive massive contracts. But here are a few players to keep your eye on.
The big names to watch include Demarcus Lawrence from Dallas and Jadaveon Clowney from Houston, both likely to be franchise tagged. But remember, the Rams were reportedly talking with Houston at the trading deadline and couldn’t come to an agreement. If either of these teams let their players test the market, the Rams could be very interested. Other potentials include Clay Matthews, Anthony Barr, and Ezekiel Ansah. However, each of these players has issues, whether that is age, injury issues, or the fact that, in Barr’s case, he is not a traditional edge rusher.
The Rams have fielded a combination of homegrown offensive linemen (Blythe, Saffold, Havenstein, etc.) and veteran signings (Whitworth and Sullivan). While they have some young talent in the pipeline (Brian Allen and Joe Noteboom), could they see the need to bring in another veteran to help the line maintain the veteran presence and protect Jared Goff? Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan both have the potential to retire, as well. A few names come to mind in the interior. Center Ryan Kalil is a free agent for the Panthers and would be an immediate veteran upgrade at center, as would Matt Paradis from the Broncos. Also, Ryan Groy, a player the Rams made an offer to in 2017, but the Bills matched the restricted free agency offer, could be a potential target.
Despite Cory Littleton’s emergence as a solid, homegrown middle linebacker, the potential exists both to release Mark Barron to save money and to get better in the middle. Imagine if the Rams brought in someone like C.J. Mosley on a second contract to assist in the run game and add some physicality to the middle. In addition, an outside linebacker like Brandon Marshall, who played for Wade Phillips, could be an option as well.
Los Angeles is likely to lose Lamarcus Joyner to free agency. They will need another safety to play next to John Johnson. The safety market has been interesting for the last few years. After exploding the market a few years ago, last year saw a number of good safeties remain free agents late into the year. Could the Rams bring in someone like Tre Boston, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, or, in a very bold move, Earl Thomas?
The other thing to keep in mind is trades. Remember how last year the Rams brought in Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Brandin Cooks all via offseason trades? The one major free agent they did sign, Ndamukong Suh, had been cut by the Dolphins, and thus, did not figure into the compensatory pick scenario. Might the Rams try that same strategy, making multiple offseason trades and abstaining from the free agency battle?
Oh, free agency. So much speculation, but only time will tell.