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TST mailbag, Feb. 19

In the newest revamped version of the TST mailbag, Sosa answers questions about the 2019 NFL Draft, free agency and preseason tactics.

Los Angeles Rams Introduce Sean McVay - News Conference Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Welcome to a new feature I’ve decided to make a regular ordeal: the TST offseason mailbag. Unfortunately for you guys, you’ll be stuck with me for the meantime.

So let’s kick this off:

Well, that’s interesting. I never gave it much thought, but if I were an NFL coach, I’d do the exact same thing the Los Angeles Rams did in the 2018 preseason. Unless you have a real reason (new offense, new coaches, new players, new schemes, etc) to play starters, don’t do it. I really hope the Rams bench every starter in the preseason again, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see a handful of teams follow suit.

I have yet to actually watch Chase Winovich, so I guess I have no choice but to go with Alabama Crimson Tide’s Christian Miller. Miller is an intriguing prospect (especially physical, super long arms) though he does have some injury concerns. Regardless, he’s a pass rusher with active hands who swats/chops offensive lineman's arms, has the ability to counter when his initial rush fails, and can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt on either side of the defensive line. He absolutely could be an option for the Rams on day two or early day three of the draft.

Now this is where it gets fun. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams decided to move on from CB Marcus Peters . Not because he isn’t good, but because the optics are tough to work around. He’ll be a free agent in one year, as will running mate CB Aqib Talib. Not only that, but do the Rams have interest in extending him for franchise CB money ($15m+)? Anyways, some of my favorite options are Bashaud Breeland and Jason Verrett from free agency, and Byron Murphy, Joejuan Williams, and Greedy Williams in the draft. I’d likely dip in the draft pool when looking at a new cornerback, particularly because this class has guys who I’m very high on. Not to mention, replacing Peters with a rookie cornerback at #31 would free up $9m on the cap.

For me, ideally you re-sign Dante Fowler Jr to a deal that works for both sides. An example of something I could see happening is a 3-year $24m deal. In terms of Michael Brockers, I don’t think much happens. He certainly does cost a lot as he’s on the hook for $10.75m, and moving on from him would clear almost all of it ($10m), but I just don’t think the Rams will be interested in that much turnover on the defensive line. If anything, the Rams could extend or restructure Brockers’ contract to lower the cap hit. As for Ndamukong Suh, I’d love for him to return, but I’m expecting him to move on because of reasons strictly related to money.

My opinion: yes. I’d do everything within reason to make sure Rodger Saffold comes back next year. He’s too good and too important to our offensive success for me to feel comfortable about letting him walk, particularly because neither of LT Andrew Whitworth or C John Sullivan have committed to playing this year.

I think it’s possible, but unlikely. Burns is a fantastic draft prospect, I’d love to get a shot at taking him. I really think he’s got a diverse skill-set as a pass rusher. Issue is he’s too talented to last that long. But, if there’s any hope he reaches pick #31, it’ll be because many guys with similar body types have failed in the NFL (Barkevious Mingo, Dion Jordan, Arden Key hasn’t failed but wasn’t picked high).

It’s Turf Show Times mailbag time, so be sure to leave your questions in a comment below for Dr. Sosa. Everything from...

Posted by Turf Show Times on Sunday, February 17, 2019

I mean, I guess it depends on what you mean by late-round picks. If the Rams do move out of the first round (which I think there’s a distinct possibility of happening) they’d likely acquire a second round pick and some other day three pick, so only one could be considered a “late round pick”. As for draft success, I think General Manager Les Snead has been fine so I trust him with the extra ammunition.


Do you think it’s time to say goodbye to Saffold?

Nope. Not only is Saffold one of the quality guards in the league, but the Rams very well might have to replace the left tackle and center positions this year, and if not this year, then surely next year. I think you need as much quality and continuity as you possibly can have on the offensive line, so Saffold needs to return.

Thank you guys for submitting these questions. See you guys next week!