In a seemingly innocuous move, the Los Angeles Rams showed their hand a bit today. If you dig a little deeper, you can glean little snippets about the Rams plans through the rest of free agency and the draft.
Here are my takeaways from today’s announcement.
Retaining C.J. Anderson is not certain
There are two different clues that make me think the Rams may not re-sign Anderson after a stretch run where he was superb. The first is just that - Anderson was quite frankly more effective than an injured Todd Gurley. The other is often forgotten among Rams fans: Malcolm Brown is pretty damn good.
Brown averaged close to five yards per carry before injuring his clavicle. Brown’s potential and cost-effectiveness combined with Anderson’s increased market value and the Rams suddenly dwindling cap space may force Anderson out of LA.
They’re happy with their current DBs
There is a lot to be said about the Rams need for DBs beyond 2019. Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters will both be unrestricted free agents while Eric Weddle will be 35. Honestly, I am surprised the Rams didn’t try to get younger at the position this offseason.
Of the Rams nine tenders, four of them were DBs. Like it or not, the Rams seem comfortable entering the 2019 season with the long term viability of their secondary in limbo.
Expect them to draft an ILB early
I think the majority of us expected Mark Barron to be released and Cory Littleton to be tendered. Neither of those moves struck me as a huge surprise. What was a surprise, however, was that Bryce Hager wasn’t tendered.
Hager had flashed some ability, but ultimately didn’t do enough to secure his long term future in LA. With Littleton the only legitimate ILB on the roster and a limited amount of cap space to obtain someone to play alongside him in free agency, I fully expect the Rams to use an early pick to shore up this roster gap.