With Jeff Fisher, and a 4-12 season, in their rear view mirror, the Los Angeles Rams - and new head coach Sean McVay - can set their sights on the 2017 offseason.
The Rams have needs on both sides of the ball, and with limited draft picks to shore up their roster, they’ll likely need to make a few plays in the upcoming free agency period.
But who, exactly, should be their top target? The Turf Show Times’ staff give their predictions for a player or two the Rams should be eyeing this offseason, in hopes that they can quickly right the ship in L.A.
Elijah Kim - Alshon Jeffery, WR
The Rams could definitely use more weapons on the outside. Why not give Goff and McVay a huge target that has proven production when he plays. Granted, there are some risks in giving a player of this magnitude a big deal, considering his health and suspension issues which are fairly recent. When he plays, he's a stud, and the Rams need a stud like him to help transform the offense. While Desean Jackson is a popular choice, I believe McVay will grow Tavon to be that type of player. Alshon is younger (26 vs 30) and bigger, giving me the edge in my "dream" free agent scenario. Another player I want to see the Rams go for is Chance Warmack, who could end the revolving door of Cody Wichmann, Jamon Brown, and Andrew Donnal forever.....
Spotrac’s Market Value Estimator: 4 years, $46M ($11.5M per)
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 9
Eddie Perez - A.J. Bouye, CB
Wade Phillips was the DC with the Texans when Bouye was drafted in 2013. He'd be a great pickup at a position of need, especially if the reports of letting Tru walk are true.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 14
RamBuck - DeSean Jackson, WR
As a vertically-stretching deep threat in McVay's system, Jackson would be a nice fit.
Spotrac’s Market Value Estimator: 3 years, $22.9M ($7.6M per)
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 25
QBKlass - Melvin Ingram, OLB
If SD lets Ingram walk, he'd be a really nice No.2 edge rusher to have, especially in Wade's scheme. He's battled some injuries and been overshadowed by other stars like Jason Verrett and Joey Bosa on that defense. Ingram could be a nice, relatively cheap signing.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 12
Misone - Andrew Whitworth, OT or Kevin Zeitler, G
You have two players that finished the season ranked top five at their positions. Whitworth may be well into his 30s but he's playing like a 28 yr old in his prime. Zeitler brings an immediate upgrade to the run game, and will give the Rams QB Jared Goff a better pocket to step into as his addition would ease the pressure that comes up the middle. The Rams number one priority has to be to fix this offensive line. Games are won and loss in the trenches. A two yr $21 mil deal for Whitworth and a 5 yr $55 mil for Zeitler could do the trick.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): Whitworth - 24; Zeitler - 16
Sean Wilkinson - Eric Berry, FS or Matt Kalil, G/T
Unrealistic: Eric Berry. I don't expect the Chiefs to let Berry walk, but adding him would do a lot to shore up a thin Rams secondary
Realistic: Matt Kalil. Once thought of as a rising Left Tackle in the NFL, Kalil has battled injuries in his career, but if healthy he's an instant upgrade over Greg Robinson.
Spotrac’s Market Value Estimator (Berry): 5 years, $49.6M ($9.9M per)
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): Berry - 6; Kalil - Not Ranked
Joe McAtee - Larry Warford, G
The top personnel issue to address on the roster is the offensive line. It's going to take multiple drafts to get this roster right, but at least you can plug up some holes with adequacy through free agent. Warford would be a solid land to help begin to build out this unit under McVay.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 29
Brandon Bate - Chance Warmack, G
Warmack spent much of the 2016 season on IR, after suffering a hand injury in September. It’s unfortunate for any player to spend a contract year on the sideline, but missing time may afford the Rams an opportunity to steal the 25-year old away from the Titans at a discount.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): Not Ranked
Tevin Broner - Pierre Garcon, WR
Garcon is the most realistic free agent WR the Rams can acquire. He would present a solid No. 2 WR and a good replacement to Kenny Britt.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 18
seattlerams - Kevin Zeitler, G
I am not a big fan of spending a ton of dough on free agents, especially anyone near the age of 30. However, in 1998 the Rams signed a OG by the name of Adam Timmermann, who had just finished up his rookie contract with the Green Bay Packers. He went on to play for the Rams for seven years, was a Pro Bowl alternate four times and along with Orlando Pace, helped pave the way to the GSOT years. Kevin Zeitler is a similar player. The former 1st round pick is 26, and has allowed one sack over the last two years who is a very consistent run blocker as well.
There are other free agent OG's, such as David DeCastro (Steelers), Ramon Foster (Steelers), Brandon Brooks (Eagles), and T.J. Lang (Packers) but only Brooks and DeCastro have the age (27) that I am looking for, with DeCastro a lock to warrant a crazy contract, I went Zeitler, who shouldn't command as much.
Do Todd Gurley and Jared Goff a favor, will you Les, fix the interior of this line.
ESPN’s 2017 Free Agent Ranking (Insider): 16