The Los Angeles Rams made quick moves in the offseason. They added new Head Coach Sean McVay who brought on new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips to fully commit to new offensive and defensive scheme changes. That meant tough choices, and saying goodbye to a lot of familiar faces.
While the Rams quickly splashed in free agency on offense with WR Robert Woods and LT Andrew Whitworth, it took a little longer to make a few defensive splashes.
One of those was OLB Connor Barwin. While Barwin has aged, he was still one of the better 3-4 edge rushers available.
Set to turn 31-years old in October, what does Barwin bring to the Rams on his one-year deal in 2017?
Barring something shocking, there is none. The Rams really don’t have much depth on the outside of the linebacker group. The team added Samson Ebukam (roster preview) and Ejuan Price (roster preview) in the 2017 NFL Draft...and they’re probably the main backups.
If anything, the only roster battle Barwin has to worry about is injury.
Barwin, statistically, has been hit or miss. Over his seven seasons, he’s averaged just more than 4 sacks a year. That’s not exactly inspiring.
However, Barwin has put up his best numbers in 3-4 defenses. That - combined with the defensive strength of the Rams front seven - should ease the team. I would expect Barwin to put up decent numbers (think something like his 2015 season, 54 tackles, 7 sacks, 1 FF, 7 PDs).
That’s not a huge year, but that’s good enough help to revamp the Rams pass rush who as a team, you might be surprised to know, finished 24th overall in sacks last year.
Chances of Making the Final Roster (10/10)
The Rams signed Barwin to a 1 year, $6.5m deal. I’ve seen weirder things happen, but I would be stunned if Barwin didn’t make the team.