Defensive end quickly became a need for the Los Angeles Rams following the release of veteran DE Chris Long. And not simply because he was no longer with the team, but because fellow defensive ends William Hayes and Eugene Sims were also slated to hit free agency.
The Rams did their part to ease some of the concern this afternoon, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
The #Rams have struck a deal to keep William Hayes— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2016
Hayes and Sims both saw increased playing time in 2015 due to injuries to both Long and starting right defensive end Robert Quinn. Both played just over half the teams snaps last season. Hayes filled in especially well, forcing two fumbles and tallying 5.5 sacks on the year.
It remains to be seen whether the Rams can lock up Sims, or if they intend on adding depth to the position through the 2016 NFL Draft. But for now, the Rams can at least breathe a sigh of relief.
Big Willy Hayes looks to make a nice chunk of change over the next three seasons, as well...
William Hayes does in fact stay with the Rams, agreeing to a 3yr deal worth a max of $21M— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2016
William Hayes Rams deal, $17.5 million, $10 million guaranteed, salaries $3M, $3.5M, $5M, gets $4M roster bonus on March 13— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 9, 2016