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NFL.com’s top 25 free agents of 2020 lists just one Los Angeles Ram, offers roster corrections moving forward

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While just one Ram made the cut, the real intrigue could be the options for the 2020 and future Rams.

Los Angeles Rams CB Marcus Peters during the Week 15 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 16, 2018.
Los Angeles Rams CB Marcus Peters during the Week 15 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 16, 2018.
Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

Over at NFL.com, Gregg Rosenthal has listed his top 25 free agents in 2020, and it’s an interesting preview of what lies ahead.

First, let’s look at our own roster of Los Angeles Rams scheduled to hit the market:

2020 LA Rams Free Agents

Player POS Type Outcome
Player POS Type Outcome
Malcolm Brown RB UFA Re-signed, 2-yr $3.25m
Blake Countess DB UFA Waived
Jared Goff QB UFA Optioned
Tyler Higbee TE UFA Re-signed, 4 yr $31m
Troy Hill CB UFA Re-signed, 2-yr $8.25m
Marcus Peters CB UFA Traded
Aqib Talib CB UFA Traded
Austin Blythe OL UFA
Blake Bortles QB UFA
Michael Brockers DL UFA
Marqui Christian DB UFA
Dante Fowler, Jr. EDGE UFA
Bryce Hager ILB UFA
Cory Littleton LB UFA
Mike Thomas WR UFA
Andrew Whitworth LT UFA
Greg Zuerlein K UFA
Morgan Fox DE RFA
Jojo Natson KR/PR RFA
Adonis Alexander CB ERFA
Josh Carraway OLB ERFA
Kendall Blanton TE ERFA
Chandler Brewer OL ERFA
Josh Carraway LB ERFA
Marquise Copeland DL ERFA
Donte Deayon CB ERFA
Greg Dortch WR ERFA
Landis Durham LB ERFA
Dominique Hatfield CB ERFA
Jeff Holland OLB ERFA
Jeremiah Kolone OL ERFA
Johnny Mundt TE ERFA
Jachai Polite EDGE ERFA
Coleman Shelton OL ERFA
Nate Trewyn OL ERFA
Nsimba Webster WR ERFA
Ethan Wolf TE ERFA
John Wolford QB ERFA

So we’ve got three players likely playing their last season in LT Andrew Whitworth, DL Michael Brockers and CB Aqib Talib. Then there are key starters to make decisions on in RG Austin Blythe, EDGE Dante Fowler, Jr., TE Tyler Higbee, LB Cory Littleton and CB Marcus Peters. The depth might be even harder to parse.

But it’s that last key starter who made Rosenthal’s list coming in at #21:

Peters appeared on track to become one of the game’s highest-paid cornerbacks until a borderline disastrous first season with the Rams, where he wasn’t a fit in Wade Phillips’ defense. Will he bounce back?

I’m backing a bounceback season for Peters, but that would certainly complicate things for the Rams who, since Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff and his Vice President of Football and Business Administration Tony Pastoors assumed negotiating responsibilities, have not valued their defensive backs as much as the market has.

Rosenthal includes Brockers and Fowler as two of 16 impending free agents who just missed the top 25 cut.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the list is the options it provides the Rams to address their roster gaps in 2020 and beyond.

My biggest concern for the Rams in 2019 is the lack of pass rushing talent from the edge. While it’s an expensive role to solve from market veterans, there are some very attractive options in Houston Texans EDGE Jadeveon Clowney and Jacksonville Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue. Both would be very expensive additions, but (a) the Rams have space to accomodate a major edge rushing contract even with a potential extension for QB Jared Goff and (b) if you want proven quality talent at premium positions, you have to pay for it.

Speaking of a Goff deal, it’s worth keeping an eye on all the quarterbacks on this list especially if any deals get done in the next month (looking at you, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott who comes in at #1...). Much has been made recently of Rams RB Todd Gurley’s contract disrupting contract talks for other running backs across the NFL; hopefully, we don’t see anything similar at the quarterback position as we get set to work up a new deal for Goff next offseason.

Much like the edge, a position the Rams could look to free agency for is at left tackle with Whitworth set to retire after this season. While the Rams added some quality depth in the 2019 NFL Draft in Bobby Evans and David Edwards, I wouldn’t assume that either’s addition means the Rams will be out of the market for a proven left tackle in the 2020 market. While Anthony Castonzo, coming in at 23 on the list, would be an obvious attractive option, I might keep an eye on the weather old man in Philly: Philadelphia Eagles LT Jason Peters. Turning 38-years old in January, I wonder if he could be coaxed to saddle up for a career-ending ride in LA just like Whitworth and our two veteran adds from this year in S Eric Weddle and LB Clay Matthews.

A random thought? The Rams’ future at the tight end position. Higbee’s in his contract year while TE Gerald Everett is year behind scheduled to hit free agency in 2021. Someone else on an expiring deal next year? WR Cooper Kupp. Might the Rams look at their future and decide to either draft another tight end or sign one in free agency through 2024? If you’re making the case for one, Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry is an easy candidate to do so for. He turns 25-years old this December younger than the three aforementioned Rams. If he can prove himself fully healed from an ACL injury last offseason, he could be a very attractive option in a year.


All in all, it’s just a good baseline of what to expect in free agency next offseason.

Which potential free agents interest you the most? What positions would you be eager to address through free agency versus the draft?