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
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?
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
Rams GM Les Snead made it pretty clear today that trading ILB Alec Ogletree was done exclusively so that they can fit CB Aqib Talib, who will cost $11M towards this year's cap. The two deals were reported a day apart. Wade Phillips values CBs over LBs in his scheme.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 15, 2018
Cause Evans is gone by Day 2, 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
Hittman: But really, I think the low key one I really want is DE Dominique Easley
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?
BMule: Who’s your fallback option?
Or do we just lose?
Joe McAtee: THE SWEET RELEASE OF DEATH
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?
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
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?
Rams coach Sean McVay, on how he will replace the departed Sammy Watkins: "It's going to be hard, and that's something that we're trying to figure out now. I don't necessarily think you do that with one player; I think it'll be by committee."— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 15, 2018
BMule: Now we’re talking
Joe McAtee: I’m bored
Hittman: Let’s have fun
Let’s backtrack for a second can we?
Hittman: Please do
BMule: I just wanna remind everyone the circumstances
Joe McAtee: Paul Boudreau?
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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...
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!