The recognition is difficult to argue against. Going into the off-season, the Rams approached a familiar labyrinth they never seemed to escape from: how to do they lock down CB Trumaine Johnson?
This year’s answer was they don’t. They let Johnson walk, and instead of being left with little to nothing, general manager Les Snead and the front office pulled off a home run effort to completely transform the defensive backfield.
In the span of a month or so, Snead and the front office managed to acquire CB Marcus Peters for a 2018 4th-round pick and a 2019 2nd-round pick, then CB Aqib Talib for a 5th-round pick.
This was all on top of tagging S Lamarcus Joyner and signing CB Nickell Robey-Coleman to a 3-year deal. The rest of the unit consists of S John Johnson, who had a great rookie year and CB Troy Hill, who proved himself to be a reliable corner down the stretch after struggling to stick with the team since 2016.
The Rams went from solid to scary in a month of front office work, and that’s just how it works on paper. Talib said he wanted to be comfortable wherever he went after Denver. He said he was never more comfortable than when he was with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. I’m sure the same will be said of newcomer Peters.
The work Snead and the front office have done not only makes next season look better for the defense, but it makes the rest of their work this off-season a little easier. With the defensive back unit as rock solid as it is, the Rams can focus on other areas in need.