A month from yesterday, free agency begins.
When the floodgates open, we’ll learn of the decision of the Los Angeles Rams’ major free agents as well as any major incoming new signings. Remember that last year on Day 1 of free agency, the Rams announced the signings of LT Andrew Whitworth and WR Robert Woods. So should the Rams decide to part ways with WR Sammy Watkins or CB Trumaine Johnson or release any cap casualties such as WR Tavon Austin, ILB Mark Barron or OLB Robert Quinn, they’ll likely be lining up one or two replacements from the market to announce on March 14.
With that in mind, here are five names scheduled to become free agents that I think would be attractive options for the Rams given the state of the roster with the 2018 NFL Draft more than two months away:
CB Bashaud Breeland
If the mock drafts are any indication, much has been made of the Rams’ need at cornerback. With Johnson potentially leaving and CB Kayvon Webster mending a torn Achilles, the Rams could be looking at entering training camp with a new CB1/CB2 pairing initially. While many will certainly push for the Rams to fill one of those slots in the draft, there’s always a market in free agency with suitable options. Breeland would obviously fit the bill. And Rams Head Coach Sean McVay certainly knows him well from their three years together in Washington.
WR Marqise Lee
Should the Rams elect not to re-sign or tag Watkins, Lee would make for a solid option in free agency. He won’t command a premium contract and should be more than capable of replicating Watkins’ production in the Rams’ diverse offense. Pairing him with Woods, his former teammate at USC, would suggest they won’t lack for any chemistry as well.
CB Vontae Davis
Davis is coming off of a major groin injury in 2017 that limited him to just five games, but the Rams spent big on Watkins and C John Sullivan coming off of injuries and they came off well. Davis’ Pro Bowl selections in 2014 and 2015 suggest there’s likely still some good football left for the nine-year veteran.
OLB Jerry Attaochu
Huge upside on what would have to be a limited contract based off of recent injuries. Attaochu has plenty of experience as a 3-4 OLB to either replace OLB Connor Barwin or strengthen the position depth chart in excess.
QB Josh McCown
The 2017 season was as good as any to remind fans that you need a capable backup QB. Several teams saw their seasons ruined with the loss of their starting QB without strong play from their backups; meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl after beating the Minnesota Vikings, both relying on their backup quarterbacks. Consider QB Sean Mannion in a similar situation. How would you feel if the Rams get a first-round bye in the playoffs and enter the divisional round with Mannion under center? Yeah... McCown had a fine season on arguably the NFL’s worst roster. His 15 years of NFL experience would obviously be valuable for the Rams’ young roster. Plus, I think McCown has a chance of matching former QB J.T. O’Sullivan’s mark of having played for 12 teams. Helping him reach that mark is the sign of charitable works. Let’s not be jerks. Help the guy out.