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LA Rams Signing Makes NFL.com’s 2017 NFL Free Agency Worst Contracts

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Breaking: Not everyone likes everything the Rams do.

Former Buffalo Bills WR Robert Woods
Former Buffalo Bills WR Robert Woods
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Well, this is a sour salad (I just made that saying up, and I recommend you use it frequently).

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal has listed the Los Angeles Ramssigning of WR Robert Woods as one of the worst signings in 2017 NFL Free Agency thus far:

It's not great when the tweet breaking the news of a receiver's signing mentions his blocking ability first. Woods is a role player who has never topped 700 yards in a season, and yet, he was given $15 million guaranteed by the Rams. Perhaps the only receiver who was given more money and had less production is Woods' new Rams teammate Tavon Austin. The Rams have had a nasty habit in recent years of paying solid contributors (Mark Barron, Michael Brockers, Trumaine Johnson) superstar prices, and their handling of Woods was a continuation of the theme.

The latter half is fair criticism...I just don’t rank it among the moves that warrant more criticism in light of recent years. The first half of the criticism? I’m not worried about paying someone who hasn’t done something. The Rams aren’t paying Woods for what he did in Buffalo. They’re paying him for what they’re hoping he’ll do in Los Angeles.

It just rings a little hollow to criticize the Rams’ contract for Woods who turns just 25-years old in a month but to also praise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ signing of 30-year old DeSean Jackson because “the Bucs avoided guarantees past Year 2.”...since the Rams’ deal with Woods avoids the same.

I’m not suggesting Woods is a great signing. It’s a TBD deal. If new Head Coach Sean McVay is able to turn the Rams’ offense into a unit that ranks in the top half of the NFL by the end of 2018 with Woods a functional component of the WR corps, I doubt many people will have a problem with the signing in retrospect. If McVay fails at what should be his top responsibility as the Rams’ HC for now and Woods doesn’t pan out, it’ll be one of many failed free agent signings.

The Rams aren’t in a position of strength to address the roster right now. They’ve got to take some shots, both in free agency and in the 2017 NFL Draft. Taking one on Woods that you can get out of in two years doesn’t seem like a horrible decision to me, regardless of whether or not it pans out in the statistics.