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Fifth-year options for RB Todd Gurley, CB Marcus Peters lighten 2019 free agency concerns for Los Angeles Rams

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JTG and the Archer are in horns for 2019 on their fifth-year options. But there’s still a ton of work to be done next offseason...

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley scores a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in Week 16 of the 2017 season
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley scores a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in Week 16 of the 2017 season
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams exercised the fifth-year options on RB Todd Gurley and CB Marcus Peters today, well ahead of the May 3 deadline to do so. In doing so, they’ve taken two of the biggest names off the table from the 2019 offseason and the number of decisions they’ll have to make otherwise with regards to free agency:

2019 LA Rams Free Agents

Player POS Type Outcome
Player POS Type Outcome
Tavon Austin WR UFA Traded
Brandin Cooks WR UFA Re-signed, 5-yr, $80m
Todd Gurley RB UFA (option) Re-signed, 4-yr, $60m
Marcus Peters CB UFA (option) Optioned
Kayvon Webster CB UFA Released
Jamon Brown G UFA
Aaron Donald DT UFA
Dominique Easley DE UFA
Bryce Hager ILB UFA
Rob Havenstein OL UFA
Lamarcus Joyner S UFA
Matt Longacre OLB UFA
Sean Mannion QB UFA
Rodger Saffold OL UFA
Sam Shields CB UFA
Ndamukong Suh DL UFA
Ethan Westbrooks DE UFA
Ramik Wilson ILB UFA
Malcolm Brown RB RFA
Blake Countess CB RFA
Morgan Fox DE RFA
Troy Hill CB RFA
Isaiah Johnson S RFA
Cory Littleton ILB RFA
Carlos Thompson OLB RFA
Michael Dunn RT ERFA
Sam Ficken K ERFA
Aaron Neary LG ERFA
Kevin Peterson CB ERFA
Garrett Sickels OLB ERFA

So Gurley and Peters decisions get pushed to 2020 (with the potential application of a franchise tag). I’d suggest it’s fair to begin looking at replacements for DL Ndamukong Suh and S Lamarcus Joyner.

That leaves a TON of decisions to work out. RG Jamon Brown, WR Brandin Cooks, DL Aaron Donald, RT Rob Havenstein and LG Rodger Saffold would all require significant investments (to say the least in AD’s case). And while the Rams have tons of cap room on the books to begin handing extensions out to whomever in this group they would seek to, they’ve got those potential extensions to Gurley, Peters and QB Jared Goff to consider building into their plans. So even among this group, you’re probably looking at at least two heading elsewhere. That’s going to be the challenge for General Manager Les Snead and the contract negotiating team of COO/VP Kevin Demoff and Special Assistant Tony Pastoors. Identifying which players meet market value in the Rams’ estimation and which they’d like to replace through the draft or with external free agents. That the Rams have undervalued defensive backs perhaps doesn’t bode well for Peters or CB Aqib Talib who is on a deal that expires after 2019. But otherwise, I’m not really sure who the Rams are most interested in retaining and who they’re comfortable letting hit the market.

At least for now, the Rams can delay those decisions on Gurley and Peters with their sights on major on-field successes in 2018. After that? Well, that’s what the front office gets paid for.

Decisions, decisions...