There are NFL fans out there right now who are disappointed with their team’s start to the 2018 offseason. Whether it was talent lost, talent gained, or the contractual implications that ultimately impact the organization for this year and beyond, there is undoubtedly an entire fan base out there that is not satiated. They wanted more for, or from, their team.
But that is not the case for Los Angeles Rams’ fans, where there’s more excitement than downtime.
Players are being traded, picks are being shuffled, pro bowl players are being acquired, atrocious contracts are being discarded or reworked, and they are already on the books for compensatory picks in 2019. It seems as though every day in March a Rams’ fan could wake up and just feel the excitement.
Goodbye Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree, and Trumaine Johnson. No love lost, and best of luck to you in your new homes. But hello Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Sam Shields, and Ndamukong Suh.
Consider it addition by subtraction. And what the Rams have added this offseason isn’t something they’re hoping to build upon for a future run deep into the postseason. It’s predicated on a Super Bowl run in 2018.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Just when you think the Rams couldn’t possibly be doing anything else - or that there was no more room for improvement - they find themselves at the forefront of the league’s hottest new rumor: the pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr.
Like it or not, OBJ is one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL. He’s a game-changer and there’s no other way to put. And Les Snead, Sean McVay, and the coaching staff not only realize that...but they’re aggressively pursuing it.
How they intend to make it (cap space magic) work is still left to be seen. But the fact that they’re even entertaining the idea shows you how serious they are about building on a first round exodus from the 2017 postseason -- and making the most of their opportunities.
Adam Schein, over at NFL Network, agrees.
The Rams are making Super Bowl-caliber moves. They revamped -- and upgraded -- the defensive backfield by trading for a pair of star corners: Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Yes, both carry baggage -- Peters and Talib each served a one-game suspension last season -- but L.A. is wisely banking on head coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips getting the most out of these talented cover men. Don’t forget: Talib earned first-team All-Pro honors while playing under Phillips in Denver.
But wait, there’s more!
On Monday, the Rams supplement these two back-end moves with a mammoth addition (literally and figuratively) up front. I’m obsessed with the fact that the Rams signed Ndamukong Suh. I’m obsessed that it’s a one-year deal, to keep Suh highly motivated. And I’m obessed with the thought of Suh playing on the same defensive line as reigning Defense Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Two defensive tackles with three first-team All-Pros apiece? Good fried — talk about a dynamic duo. This is going to be special. Offensive lines will be broken.
It remains to be seen whether or not these offseason moves will ultimately pan out. If you’re a long-time Rams’ fan, then you’re certainly accustomed to big-named players hopping aboard only to fizzle out when it mattered most.
And it also remains to be seen whether or not the Rams can potentially land a player that would provide them two of the best players in the NFL on either side of the ball...with no disrespect to Todd Gurley.
Regardless, the moves the Rams have made aren’t a mere attempt to “move the needle”, or to maintain their current status as NFC West Champions. These moves are being made in an effort to hoist the Lombardi in early 2019.
With all 16 games left to be played this season, Rams’ fans can rest assured that this regime is not like that from years prior. Winning is of the utmost importance. And 2018 isn’t being viewed as a season to improve — but as a year to capitalize.