The Los Angeles Rams really enjoy being in the headlines. Yesterday, they made a trade with the Denver Broncos for their star cornerback Aqib Talib. Also, the Rams signed former Green Bay Packers CB Sam Shield as well this week.
With the team loading up with veteran talent, it made sense to evaluate how the landscape of the Rams’ CB roster has changed over the last couple of weeks.
The biggest name of the list had to be the biggest surprise for Ram fans. The Rams traded for a talented corner who is money on the field but based on reports is trouble off the field.
Regardless, the Rams acquired a player who could be one of the top young corners in the game. The best part about the trade is that the Rams will have Peters on a discounted price. He’ll have to prove to the Rams that they can trust him off the field if he wants to receive a massive contract that his on field talent clearly entitles him to.
The Rams have two number one corners after the big trade reunited Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips with Talib who worked together in Denver. The 32-year-old corner who has always had a chip on his shoulder could easily be considered a shutdown corner similar to Peters.
The Broncos might not have considered Talib an elite talent any longer but Talib only allowed three touchdown passes last season and Pro Football Focus graded him as the 15th best corner in the league last season. Although it is a surprise that the Rams traded for a player that will count $11m against the cap, it still saved money compared to what they probably would have paid CB Trumaine Johnson and even decreases next season.
Shields will be sort of a mystery heading into the season. No one can honestly tell you what you will get from a player who stepped away from the game for a season as he battled concussions.
He was a playmaker when he was healthy, and if he can compete for a starting spot in the slot or provide depth then it was a great move by both sides. The Rams will gain some depth, and Shields can show other teams that he can still play in the league.
From 2012-2016, Sam Shields was one of the best defensive playmakers in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/Dls1cmfZUG— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 2, 2017
Webster was okay as a starter for the Rams after following his former defensive coordinator to fill the Rams’ CB2 role. He finished the season with eight pass deflections and an interception but unfortunately ruptured his Achilles late in the season.
Before the injury, Webster was a player that could be upgraded on, but he was solid enough to continue to be a starter or to be a very valuable depth piece. If he can return from injury before training camp, it will be interesting to see where he fits with Sam Shields.
The biggest surprise last season could have been Hill. When the team needed him during the 2016 season, he didn’t provide much help. He turned it all around in the limited snaps that he had last season. It was a completely small sample size, but he showed that he could be a solid boundary corner.
The thing is that it would have been tough to trust him for a complete season even with his solid play. I would not be surprised if he was the teams first backup on the outside when training camp begins. It will be a battle to see how the positions shake out.
It appears that the long-term Ram will be looking for a new team during free agency. It will be interesting to see the size of the deal that he receives. Also, the Rams could receive a third round compensatory pick next season.
If I were the Rams, I would do everything in my power to bring NRC back. He was a really good slot defender last year, and having him in the fold for multiple years would help solidify the secondary. Also, slot corners usually do not break the bank so there should be a good chance that he returns.
As a side note he was also ranked the best cornerback on the Rams by Pro Football Focus and would finish in the top 20 among corners.