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Random Ramsdom: March 14: Los Angeles Rams - The Calm After The Storm

Re-signing Free Agents. Losing a pair of their own Free Agents. A contracts kerfuffle. The Rams certainly had an interesting past week.

Twitter Talk

Good news for the Rams. Let's hope he can stay healthy and productive for a full season:

Were the Rams guilty of this over the last year?:

Winners, losers from NFL free agency's first week:

The Rams' secondary were big winners in the past two weeks, with Rodney McLeod, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson and Mark Barron all signing lucrative deals. As Gregg Rosenthal notes:

"Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams makes people money."

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Walter Football

Walt updates his 5 round mock draft. The Rams select DE Kevin Dodd in the first round, DE Noah Spence and TE Hunter Henry in the second round, DL Chris Jones in the third round and CB Kevon Seymour in the fourth round. I highly doubt the Rams will be selecting 3 DL with their first four picks.

Why the Los Angeles Rams must spend wisely this offseason: isportsweb

Negotiations on long-term contracts are coming up in the next two years with many Rams core players: Trumaine Johnson, Michael Brockers, Tavon Austin, Alec Ogletree, Aaron Donald and Tim McDonald Jr. The Rams are wisely watching how they spend their dollars this year in anticipation of what is needed over the next couple of years.

Rams still can find free agent bargains: ESPN NFL Nation

Will the Rams be on the hunt for bargains in Free Agency in the coming weeks, similar to last year when they signed Nick Fairley and Akeem Ayers?

Draft Prospect Highlight Reel: CB - Eli Apple - Ohio State

NFLPA tells agents to reject "inappropriate" language in Rams contracts: Pro Football Talk

It appears as though Kevin Demoff likes more than just palindromes in Rams contracts. He likes the contracts to be controlled by Missouri law, not California law at this time. A much bigger issue was made out of this than needed to be, in my estimation. Mike Florio strikes again:

"It’s a gutsy move by the Rams, for a variety of reasons. Apart from trying to keep workers’ compensation claims out of a forum that universally is regarded as grossly pro-employee, the Rams hope to impose burdens on the administrative mechanisms of the state they have now abandoned."

But it was cleared up pretty quickly:

Rams concede California law will apply to contracts after move is finalized: Pro Football Talk

A day later (Sunday), Mike Florio retreats quite a bit (surprise!) from his initial article the day before (one which caused quite the furor on TST on Saturday). The only real lesson to be learned from all of this:

"...maybe improved communication between the Rams and the NFLPA could have helped this issue from becoming a thing."

Rams say fix to contract issue has been negotiated with agents: Pro Football Talk

Mike Florio finishes the cycle by retreating completely. Turns out the whole weekend fiasco was really much ado about nothing. As Kevin Demoff noted:

"This really shouldn’t have been an issue given that all involved also believe that all of the contracts signed in previous years transfer to California as well. If that position was assumed by both the team and the agents, then it only logically follows that any contracts signed this offseason would transfer as well."

What's next for Rams at quarterback: ESPN NFL Nation

Despite loads of speculation and rumors, I'll stick to what I said many, many weeks ago: the Rams will head into the 2016 season (for better or worse) with the three-headed monster of Keenum, Foles and Mannion.

Stat Facts Of The Week: Big Play Differential

Team Big Plays Statistics
Rank Team Plays Big Plays Rush Pass Big Play % BPA +/-
3 Seattle Seahawks 1,035 93 61 32 8.99% 51 42
4 Carolina Panthers 1,060 95 64 31 8.96% 61 34
1 Buffalo Bills 1,016 102 70 32 10.04% 73 29
13 Cincinnati Bengals 1,004 77 46 31 7.67% 52 25
2 Minnesota Vikings 973 91 64 27 9.35% 72 19
5 Pittsburgh Steelers 1,011 90 47 43 8.9% 71 19
22 Denver Broncos 1,056 73 46 27 6.91% 59 14
16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1,017 76 50 26 7.47% 64 12
6 Kansas City Chiefs 955 85 53 32 8.9% 74 11
10 Arizona Cardinals 1,041 85 50 35 8.17% 74 11
12 New York Jets 1,074 85 56 29 7.91% 74 11
15 New England Patriots 1,050 79 40 39 7.52% 73 6
26 Baltimore Ravens 1,083 70 38 32 6.46% 64 6
7 Green Bay Packers 1,056 92 53 39 8.71% 88 4
9 Jacksonville Jaguars 1,012 83 44 39 8.2% 80 3
8 St. Louis Rams 920 79 56 23 8.59% 78 1
20 Atlanta Falcons 1,073 75 48 27 6.99% 75 0
11 San Francisco 49ers 969 79 42 37 8.15% 81 -2
29 Houston Texans 1,127 71 43 28 6.3% 73 -2
23 Philadelphia Eagles 1,102 76 47 29 6.9% 84 -8
18 Chicago Bears 1,025 75 44 31 7.32% 84 -9
17 Dallas Cowboys 969 72 51 21 7.43% 82 -10
24 Oakland Raiders 1,008 67 33 34 6.65% 77 -10
21 New York Giants 1,053 73 39 34 6.93% 86 -13
14 Miami Dolphins 977 74 41 33 7.57% 93 -19
28 Detroit Lions 1,030 65 36 29 6.31% 85 -20
31 Tennessee Titans 976 59 33 26 6.05% 80 -21
25 Indianapolis Colts 1,052 70 37 33 6.65% 93 -23
19 New Orleans Saints 1,096 80 43 37 7.3% 104 -24
27 Cleveland Browns 1,042 66 40 26 6.33% 90 -24
30 Washington Redskins 1,011 63 32 31 6.23% 93 -30
32 San Diego Chargers 1,100 58 28 30 5.27% 90 -32

Big Play Differential is the difference between the number of big plays - running plays of 10+ yards plus passing plays of 25+ yards - an offense creates, and the number of big plays a defense allows. How important are big plays to a teams offense/defense? Last season, NFL teams averaged 0.8 points per drive without a big play, and 3.9 points per drive with at least one of them. The higher the big play +/- the better, as this shows the team more often generates big plays than gives them up.

For the 2015 regular season, the Rams ranked 16th in the league in Big Play Differential (+1), mostly thanks to the efforts of RB Todd Gurley, WR Tavon Austin and a stingy defense. The Rams were 7-2 in games with a positive Big Play Differential and 0-7 in games with a negative or even Big Play Differential. The Rams ran the fewest offensive plays in the NFL (920) and ranked 8th in the league in Big Play percentage (8.59%).

Rams seem fine sticking with a QB group that threw 11 TD's last season: SB Nation NFL

The three-headed monster at the Rams' QB position is not an ideal situation by any means. Nonetheless, I've been stating for many weeks that the Rams will inevitably roll with what they've got through 2016. I've seen nothing materialize in the interim that would suggest otherwise.

Departed players who will be missed the most:

James Laurinaitis makes Gil Brandt' s list of players who will be missed the most by their respective teams. Did the Rams make a mistake in releasing JL55?

On Free Agency, the Eagles and the truth about Brock: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Peter King takes us through the week that was in the NFL.

NFL Free Agency Grades: CBS Sports

Pete Prisco hands out his grades for the first week of Free Agency. The Rams earn a "C" for the week.

The best of the rest:

Who are the best players left on the market after the first frenzied week of Free Agency?

Rams to play international games the next three seasons: Los Angeles Times

Stan Kroenke is spreading the Rams' brand around the globe.

On This Day In Sports History

1978 - The NFL permanently adds a 7th official (side judge).

1967 - In the first NFL/AFL common draft, the Baltimore Colts select DE Bubba Smith.

Los Angeles Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

I haven't finalized the figures for two Rams signings of the past week (Cody Davis and Eugene Sims); nonetheless, the Rams have approximately $12.5 million in available salary cap space remaining (with all additional 2016 financial obligations taken into consideration) heading into the second week of Free Agency.

Los Angeles Rams Current Roster & Depth Chart

C Tim Barnes Demetrius Rhaney Eric Kush
RG Jamon Brown Cody Wichmann Brian Folkerts
LG Rodger Saffold Garrett Reynolds David Arkin
RT Rob Havenstein Andrew Donnal
LT Greg Robinson Darrell Williams Isaiah Battle
TE Lance Kendricks Justice Cunningham
WR Tavon Austin Stedman Bailey Kain Colter
WR Kenny Britt Nick Toon Isiah Ferguson
WR Brian Quick Bradley Marquez Deon Long
RB Tre Mason Trey Watts Malcolm Brown
RB Todd Gurley Benny Cunningham Zach Laskey
QB Case Keenum Nick Foles Sean Mannion
P John Hekker
LS Jake McQuaide
DT Aaron Donald Doug Worthington Louis Trinca-Pasast
DT Michael Brockers Ethan Westbrooks
DE William Hayes Eugene Sims
DE Robert Quinn Matt Longacre
MLB Alec Ogletree Bryce Hager
OLB Mark Barron Zack Hodges Matthew Wells
OLB Akeem Ayers Cameron Lynch
CB E.J. Gaines Marcus Roberson Eric Patterson
CB Trumaine Johnson Lamarcus Joyner Troy Hill
SS Tim McDonald Jr. Maurice Alexander
FS Cody Davis Christian Bryant
62 Players Total

Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Monday: Led Zeppelin - How Many More Times

Please have a great Monday and a Ramtastic week!!