As it stands, Sean Mannion is set to enter his fourth NFL season with the Los Angeles Rams. And with 2018 being the final year of his rookie deal, it could be his last season in LA.
The fact that it’s late August and Mannion is still penciled in at QB2 probably bodes well for his chances of making the final roster. But Mannion - who didn’t impress in last week’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens - still needs to earn the spot.
The current crop
Mannion’s primary competition at this point is fellow Rams QBs Brandon Allen and Luis Perez. Allen is entering his second season with the team, though he was inactive for every game last season while serving as QB3 behind Mannion. Perez, an undrafted free agent from 2018, appears to have the longest odds of making the squad and is currently slotted as QB4 on the Rams’ depth chart.
To see either Allen or Perez slide into the backup position probably wouldn’t shock the world. It’d be unfair to base a roster decision on Mannion’s performance last week, having played with the team’s second and third string players, but he’s also never flashed enough to show he’s a starting caliber quarterback. Regardless, in the event of an unfortunate injury to Goff, the Rams would be in a very bad spot if any of the aforementioned were asked to lead the team on Sunday’s for any significant amount of time.
Other teams are set to whittle down their rosters as we approach kickoff of the regular season. And there will be options available, should the Rams be interested, at every position.
Would the Rams be better served to acquire a backup signal caller - via trade or free agency - or stick with Mannion, the known commodity, at a reasonable $1m price tag? A pair of alternative options the Rams may want to entertain:
Trade for Teddy Bridgewater
This year’s third overall pick, QB Sam Darnold, was very impressive in the New York Jets preseason debut. He’s clearly the future of the organization, and the Jets could opt to throw him into the fire as early as week one.
The Jets also have veteran QB Josh McCown. The trade market for him, given his age (39) and salary cap hit ($10m), makes him a much less likely trade candidate.
Bridgewater, who turns 26-years old in November, would be the one drawing interest from potential suitors. Ultimately, for any NFL team showing interest, it boils down to what the Jets are wanting/expecting in return. As it stands, the Rams hold single picks in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. But having lost both WR Sammy Watkins and CB Trumaine Johnson to free agency bodes well for them to pick up a pair of mid (potentially 3rd round) compensatory picks for 2019.
The Rams were willing to utilize a third round pick to select Mannion in the 2015 draft. Would using one on a first round pick from the year prior be too big an ask?
Reunite Sean McVay and Robert Griffin III
RG3 knows his chances of making the Baltimore Ravens’ roster are slim, so this hypothetical wouldn’t require the Rams to cough up anything. QB Joe Flacco is clearly the Ravens’ starter, and QB Lamar Jackson - their first-round pick from 2018 - is the future.
The Ravens haven’t carried a third string QB on their roster in the last seven years, so there’s a chance he’s cut. Griffin III also looked impressive in the Ravens’ preseason opener despite being out of football for the entirety of the 2017 season.
Given his release, would it be wise for McVay to reunite with the QB he began growing familiar with in 2012 when he was drafted by the Washington?
What should the Rams do at backup QB?
This poll is closed
Stick with Mannion
Give Allen or Perez a shot
Trade for Teddy B
Scoop up free agent to-be RG3
Other. Hit us up in the comments below