The Los Angeles Rams have entered unique territory when it comes to the landscape of the NFL. Instead of adding young players with major potential and even bigger price tags, they’ve become the landing spot for true veterans of the game who’re looking to give it one last go at a Super Bowl before retirement. Now, things haven’t always been like this. For many years (past decade and a half) the Rams were that young team overpaying, splashing, and inevitably failing.... but the tide has turned.
The 2018 offseason was the start to a new beginning for the Rams, one that emulates the most successful franchise in the league in the past two decades— the New England Patriots. They’ve become a team which has few holes every offseason and prefers them to be filled by veterans who’ll come with a cheaper price tag, as opposed to the alternative.
The 2019 offseason has started similarly with the signing of 34-year old veteran free safety Eric Weddle. Weddle takes over for 28-year old free agent Lamarcus Joyner who struggled in his second season at safety. Instead of overpaying to keep Joyner, the Rams went with a mistake-free option in Weddle who might not offer as many splash plays as he did earlier in his career, but is still a valuable piece to a secondary. The Rams paid Joyner $11.3m last year on the franchise tag alone. The deal Weddle just signed is for $10.5m total in base value over two years, with incentives that could push it to $12.5m. They essentially swapped Joyner for two years of a superior player in Weddle.
Peter Schrager of the NFL Network noted yesterday morning that there were going to be veterans on the lookout for the Rams this offseason, and he wasn’t wrong:
Said on @gmfb today— I believe there are several veteran free agents who are looking to the Rams as that 1-2 year place to be on good team, play for McVay, and plant some seeds in LA. https://t.co/ddYgJsap2h— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) March 8, 2019
So that bodes the questions, are there more veterans to come? Who else could be next?
Let’s take a stab at it. My guess is they’ll likely look to sew up one edge rusher spot (and maybe a defensive lineman). Whether it’s a veteran option or not remains to be seen, but here are the potential options:
DE Ezekiel Ansah (30)
DT Malik Jackson (29)
DE Cameron Wake (37)
DT Bennie Logan (29)
DT Johnathan Hankins (28)
OLB Terrell Suggs (36)
These are some of the quality veteran options that remain at defensive tackle and edge. Could one of these guys be the next to join Eric Weddle in the quest for a Super Bowl ring?