The Los Angeles Rams have opted not to tender three of their restricted free agents: LB Daren Bates, OL Brian Folkerts and RB Chase Reynolds.
It's an interesting trio that clearly leans on the special teams depth where Bates and Reynolds have been core contributors for some time.
Probably not a happy day for special teams coordinator John Fassel because Bates, Davis, Reynolds among his stop special teamers.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) March 9, 2016
Bates was Rams special teams captain in '15. Rams undoubtedly will try to re-sign at least some of them back for rate lower than tender.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) March 9, 2016
In theory, Rams could still bring back Reynolds and/or Bates at lower rate. Did so with C Tim Barnes last year and he ended up starting.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) March 9, 2016
Clearly, none of the three are marquee signings...which underscores their importance. These are glue guys that help hold teams together. And not only is their importance felt in the consistency they bring on specials, but they also prevent you from having to use other guys in specials work. Should the 2016 Rams be without these guys, it means either new additions having to step up or higher work rates from guys who weren't in heavy ST rotation to begin with in 2015 (and generally that was for a reason).
Keep an eye on the bottom of the FA wire as well...