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TST Weekly Slack Chat: Free agency frenzy

The TST Slack trio combs through the free agency period and some departed Rams

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Welcome back to another TST Slack Chat. This week, 3k, BMule and I discuss the potential for the Los Angeles Rams to add an outside free agent, which players we want to be re-signed, and the potential impact of TE Gerald Everett in 2019.

Hittman (TST contributor Sosa Kremenjas): Welcome back to another episode of Slack Chat

Joe McAtee (TST contributor Joe McAtee): I’m sick

I have gone through 7 boxes of kleenex in the last 30 hours

Please...let’s talk about football

Hittman: Let’s roll with question one:

1.) Out of the remaining FA’s, who’s someone you’d like the Rams to sign?

Stake your claim, boys

BMule (TST contributor BMule): Who is left?

Hittman: That’s right!

The guy I roll with is Chicago Bears OLB Pernell McPhee

Joe McAtee: I’d be down

BMule: He’s an EDGE I’d like

Joe McAtee: I still like some of the ILB options

Hittman: Got cut by the Bears three years into his contract, won’t hurt the comp pick formula (you guys know I love that), and he would be a starter for us

BMule: Buffalo Bills ILB Preston Brown is one of them for me

Hittman: Yeah, I still see a ton of value with the ILB’s

BMule: A cheap 2-down player

Hittman: Anyone you guys like in particular there?

Joe McAtee: The market for ILBs is very team-friendly

Hittman: Also, why does the entire NFL love to hate Washington ILB Zach Brown?

All he does is play well, and all he does is rot on the market every offseason

Joe McAtee: Yeah, but his name is Zach

BMule: True

Hittman: Is Zack more appropriate?

Joe McAtee: Now we’re getting to the good Qs

BMule: I like Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler as a WR4 way more than I probably should

He’s a field stretcher who has never really broken through anywhere but at this point, Rams looking for depth at WR it seems

Joe McAtee: What’s the deal with Washington ILB Will Compton?

He’s still out there, right?

Hittman: I’ve even seen Cowboys fans beg for WR Terrance Williams’ departure and Butler as the starter

Is he an FA? He’s got the Washington connection

BMule: Well Terrance Williams will do that to ya

Joe McAtee: Or Los Angeles Chargers ILB Korey Toomer?

BMule: I think the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills connection are kicking the crap outta any Washington connects

Joe McAtee: If you’re looking for ILB help to shore up the run defense, there are plenty of cheap options for the Rams to explore before the draft

Honestly, I thought they had one lined up yesterday

Maybe they just got out priced

Hittman: Maybe. Those were some expensive linebackers though

I really anticipated on them getting much less money

Joe McAtee: Which is funny when you look around the league at the other contracts

An expensive inside linebacker is an inexpensive veteran

Sam Bradford shits ILB money

(Chris Rock voice) Yeah, I said it

Hittman: I mean there is still plenty of quality in the ILB market

There are a handful of guys that could come in and start for multiple teams

BMule: Maybe they don’t want anyone to get in the way of your dude, Alabama ILB Rashaan Evans

Joe McAtee: He’d be a nice fit for sure

Hittman: Ugh. You guys know I lust for Rashaan

Joe McAtee: But given the talk about Grandpa Wade feeling CBs more than his ILBs, I dunno that they’re gonna go that high

Cause Evans is gone by Day 2, yeah?

Hittman: Yeah

I think that’s a great point

It’s clear they value Cory Littleton too, it might be likely they just roll at ILB and maybe a depth at that spot

Joe McAtee: Right

I mean, they did start OLB Connor Barwin for an entire season...

BMule: They’re already better without ILB Alec Ogletree so there’s that

Hittman: Addition by subtraction

Which leads to question #2 boys:

Hittman: Who do you guys want re-signed?

Joe McAtee: S Lamarcus Joyner...

/kicks a rock

Hittman: Ha, that would be great!

BMule: You can’t re-sign someone who wasn’t a free agent

Nice try

Hittman: But really, I think the low key one I really want is DE Dominique Easley

BMule: Yes

Hittman: And obviously C John Sullivan would be great

Joe McAtee: Sounds like Sully’s as good as gone

Hittman: Easley is goooood. If he can get right on health, he adds some serious juice at DT

BMule: Those are really the only two left I’d even consider

Joe McAtee: The Rams are still searching for their answer at center. Looks like they have competition if their plan is to retain Sully.

Hittman: If Sully leaves, do you replace him in FA?

Or roll with C Austin Blythe?

Joe McAtee: Man...if Sully leaves, I’m near freaking out about the O-line

Hittman: Yeah that’s dangerous for sure

I think part of the reason the rest of the OL performed so well was because of Ol Sully

Joe McAtee: It’s hanging on by a string

BMule: If he was really that high a priority don’t rams just re-sign him by your logic?

Hittman: I think that’s true, but competition can get wild

Joe McAtee: That’s what kind of worries me. The OL was horrible two years ago. They fixed it with LT Andrew Whitworth and Sully

If Sully leaves, the only thing between our 2016 line and this line is 36-year old Whit?

BMule: And Paul Boudreau and Jeff Fisher

But yeah, I’m not panicking yet

Joe McAtee: I’m close

BMule: You’re a weirdo

Hittman: I love me some Aaron Kromer

I got way too much faith in him

Joe McAtee: People loved Paul Boudreau back in 2013, 2014

BMule: The Betos loved him

Hittman: Matter of fact, just so this is on record, the first/next time I see Kromer, I’m buying him (and myself) ALL the beers

Joe McAtee: If McVay/Kromer have to coach up Greg Robinson in 2017, I doubt we’re talking this way about them

BMule: So it’s John Sullivan or death?

Hittman: Man

BMule: Who’s your fallback option?

Or do we just lose?


Hittman: Even when Sully was out, we didn’t really skip a beat with Blythe though

BMule: Not at all

Joe McAtee: He certainly filled in well

Hittman: Albeit not long

Joe McAtee: But yeah, outside of Sully/Easley, I’m not sure anyone else is a must to re-sign

BMule: Can we just talk about the Smother Brothers already

Hittman: Question 3 gents, strap your seatbelts:

Joe McAtee: “Strap your seatbelts”

BMule: Belt your straps

Joe McAtee: This question is so intense, you will literally get knocked out of your damn seat

Hittman: Let’s talk about some of the deals given out in free agency so far. Anyone who sticks out? Any outrageous?

BMule: Trent Murphy dear god

Joe McAtee: The Jerrick McKinnon one made me laugh

Hittman: That one was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad

And I like McKinnon..

Joe McAtee: Me too. But man...for a running back?

BMule: Anthony Hitchens

Joe McAtee: Yeah, Hitch was up there

Hittman: Weston Richburg’s had my head spinnin’ a bit

Joe McAtee: How about Sammy Watkins?

Hittman: Whew.

Joe McAtee: I wasn’t shocked though, TBH

Hittman: I love me some Sammy, but man, that is simply way too much

BMule: I really like what Chicago is doing FYI

But that’s gonna be really popular with everyone

Joe McAtee: Sure

Hittman: CHI is killing it

Trey Burton might have been my favorite FA signing so far

Joe McAtee: Does Mitchell Trubisky have a nickname yet?

He seems like someone that needs a really dumb nickname

BMule: How about Kirk Cousins just living

Joe McAtee: Had to happen

Hittman: How about good ol’ Sammy Bradford

Just raking in the cake

Joe McAtee: The QB market is wild

BMule: I love what AZ is doing

Ensuring they’re really bad

Hittman: Hahah

Me too, as a Rams fan

They threw a ton of currency at two QB’s who make up like 3/4ths of a real QB

Gotta love it

BMule: And cut Tyrann Mathieu for it

Hittman: Apparently they’re big players to move up in the draft for a QB

Joe McAtee: I think it’s just one of those situations where you know you’re not going to compete this year, so....yanno...what are you gonna do

BMule: Suck ass

Hittman: I might suggest they do that

Joe McAtee: Sucks for Cardinals fans, but it is what it is

What’s the soonest they can get back in it? 2020?

Hittman: I won’t say that

After what we just seen, anything is possible

And David Johnson is one of the best RB’s to build a quick turnaround around

Joe McAtee: Man, you don’t build a quick turnaround around a RB

Hittman: But still.... that offense is not very talented at all

The Rams did!

Joe McAtee: Not in 2016 they sure didn’t

BMule: I’m bored

Hittman: 2017 they sure did

Joe McAtee: Was that around Gurley or was that around the O-line and McVay and new passing weapons?

BMule: John Sullivan

Joe McAtee: That’s why the McKinnon deal was a stunner to me

Hittman: Sure, everything around, but he still was relied upon more than anything else

Don’t get me wrong

RB’s are a dime a dozen. They rarely ever succeed without good pieces around them, unless they’re SPECIAL

Todd Gurley was not the reason the team was successful. But he was the engine of the entire offense

Joe McAtee: Hmm. I suppose. I might change the word “engine”

Hittman: It’s the easiest way to ensure a quick turnaround haha

Give the ball to him 350 times!

Joe McAtee: Gross

BMule: I like Carlos Hyde deal for that situation

Joe McAtee: Exactly

Hittman: Anyways, onto the final Q: Gerald Everett. What do you expect next season with some targets like Sammy Watkins leaving?

BMule: Now we’re talking

Joe McAtee: I’m bored

Hittman: Let’s have fun

BMule: #FreeYoungGerald

Let’s backtrack for a second can we?

Hittman: Please do

BMule: I just wanna remind everyone the circumstances

Joe McAtee: Paul Boudreau?

Greg Robinson?

BMule: At the time of the 2017 draft the Rams had Robert Woods and Tavon Austin as their top WRs. Tyler Higbee and Temarick Hemingway as TEs. And they passed on Zay Jones and JuJu Smith-Schuster for Gerald Everett as the McVay era’s first pick.

Joe McAtee: Thus was born Young Gerald

BMule: That’s serious commitment to a young TE

So, that’s all I really need to know about him moving forward. His role should see a big increase with no Sammy because Gerald can also line up split outside

Hittman: Truth

He’s so good. I’m hype to see him ball

BMule: We’re all going to be blessed in 2018

Joe McAtee: Man, I was so hyped for him after his first two games last year

Hittman: If there’s anyone who knows how to help a TE dominate, it’s McVay

BMule: Just imagine bunch sets with Woods, Kupp and Everett

Hittman: His YAC ability is just insane. Gotta use it to your advantage


He showed twice the ability in open field as Tavon.

Hittman: We got teased last year. We got a little taste to how savage Gerald can be

Joe McAtee: Do yall want to bring in a WR either through FA or the draft or just promote everyone up a spot and welcome #ReynoldsSZN?

Hittman: I’m in the promotion camp

It’s Reynolds SZN

BMule: Yes

Joe McAtee: See, I’m in the other camp

Hittman: Let Josh line up at X and run straight like Sammy did

Joe McAtee: Right, in practice

Then in the games, play the guy you just brought in

Hittman: Let’s be honest, Sammy wasn’t doing anything intricate out there

He ran verts and in-cutting routes

I’m not saying there won’t be any drop off

Joe McAtee: I am being rude


BMule: He didn’t even draw CB1s all the time like everyone says

Joe McAtee: Not all the time, that’s certainly true

Hittman: But what they asked Sammy to do wasn’t insane. And Josh has shown in small doses that he can leap over CB’s and Moss them

BMule: Lots of teams put CBs on one side of field only. Woods saw a lot of great CBs

Joe McAtee: True

Hittman: Very true

I showed Woods burning Des Trufant in the Wild Card game on twitter!

Joe McAtee: It was seen by 4 people

(rude again)

BMule: Richard Sherman lines up exclusively on the Y side

Hittman: To act like Woods all of a sudden will struggle is wild

BMule: Really wild

Hittman: He might not have the same stats, iunno, each year is different, but he’s great

BMule: He was pleasantly surprising

Hittman: I’ve said it before and I ain’t shy to say it again

Joe McAtee: Oh man

How many times has that phrase not ended well for Sosa Kremenjas

Hittman: Scheming guys open > relying on talent to get guys open

This is the Rams fans history

BMule: McVay knows a thing or two

Hittman: Jeff Fisher was #2

He thinks guys get along by talent alone

Joe McAtee: Here’s my question

McVay schemed to get guys open by attacking holes in the defense

Hittman: Worked out well for Gurley in 2016!

BMule: #FreeYoungGerald

Joe McAtee: That played into Woods’ favor last year

What’s to say Woods is the odd man out this year as McVay looks for better opportunities to exploit competitive advantages using Kupp, Reynolds & Everett?

BMule: It’s possible!

Hittman: Yeah, that could be the case

BMule: That’s what’s beautiful about McVay offense’s

Hittman: Right?!

BMule: It’s why they had so many guys put up so many numbers

This is such a neat concept

Hittman: Spend your week game planning for 1 guy, but McVay will kill you with another

When you have 4-5 guys who can damage defenses you have a damn good chance of winning

BMule: It’s why “WR1” and “Rams” is neat

Joe McAtee: Cause for all the people who hated on Sammy Watkins because of his lack of production, if Woods’ numbers dip 10-20%...

I might as well go pre-write these pieces now

Hittman: Yeah

They might not have gotten a ton of chances (Sammy)

But every time someone got a chance it seemed to work

The success rate on offense was insane

I feel like every time they threw the ball it went exactly as planned

BMule: Which is a solid time to throw out that some regression should be expected

Hittman: That’s fair

BMule: That’s a very high bar

Joe McAtee: Enjoy the comment section on that one

BMule: I’m here for it

Hittman: I hope it doesn’t happen, but things lined up amazingly for us this year

Every other week the upcoming defense we were slated to play got hurt

I bet that Saints game is different if they weren’t missing two of their top CB’s

Joe McAtee: Me looking forward to fans getting mad at the idea of a regression...

I’m bored

What about you guys? Is there any free agent in particular that you like? Anyone you need the Rams to re-sign? Let us know!