The LA Rams have had one of the NFL’s best teams through five games and Sean McVay hopes that can last for years to come. The next game of importance: this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The next year of important after 2020: 2021.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles has over $200 million in liabilities for next season and the cap could be lower than that. They also have quite a few starters who will leave in free agency.
Here is a look at how the Rams are set for next week and next year.
QB Jared Goff
Next week: Jared Goff
Next year: Jared Goff
The Rams are committed to Goff through at least 2021 and fortunately he’s also playing his best football this season.
Next week: Darrell Henderson, Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown
Next year: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Raymond Calais
Free agent: Brown
The short term plan seems to be to get Akers carries when they can, but so far he is getting few snaps that don’t involve him touching the ball. That will make it difficult for Akers to succeed against defenses that know what’s coming. As he gets a more well-rounded game, he and Henderson could become a running back duo of note. I picked Calais for no good reason other than his ability to stick around for special teams and this is not a final depth chart or anything — I just assume that perhaps the team will move on from Brown. But maybe not, he’s been valuable to McVay this year.
Next week: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds
Next year: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson
Free agent: Reynolds
Kupp and Woods are now extended and Reynolds will be a first time free agent. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams use a day two draft pick on a receiver again, teams are doing that often, even when they just picked one the year before. The 2021 receiver class is supposed to be as noteworthy as the last two. The team has held onto receivers Nsimba Webster and Trishton Jackson through the season’s first five weeks.
Next week: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett
Next year: Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins
Free agent: Everett
Everett will be a free agent and Hopkins was picked in the fourth round as a successor to him.
Next week: Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein
Next year: Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, unknown, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein
Free agent: Blythe
Offensive line plans can and do change in a hurry. There’s no way to know if this would even be 40-percent accurate in a year. But Whitworth seems to be a viable option to return for another year based on his play and his contract. Edwards has played well enough to at least be optimistic that he’s a long-term answer at guard. And there’s little in the way of challengers to Corbett and Havenstein. Blythe will be a free agent and if he continues to play well, LA will have a tough time re-signing him.
Next week: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Morgan Fox
Next year: Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, A’Shawn Robinson, Greg Gaines
Free agent: Fox
LA hopes to have Robinson back by midseason. Fox has fans but is also a free agent in 2021. They worked out a deal with Robinson to push his contract back another year, so I see no immediate plans for them to part with him.
Next week: Leonard Floyd, Micah Kiser, Kenny Young, Troy Reeder, Samson Ebukam, Terrell Lewis
Next year: Terrell Lewis, Micah Kiser, Kenny Young, Troy Reeder, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Travin Howard, Justin Hollins, Jachai Polite, Justin Lawler
Free agent: Floyd, Ebukam
This is the position that has the most options and the least high-end talent, at least that we know of through these first five games. Floyd seems unlikely to return because of money and his value so far. The Rams have interesting players to develop like Howard, Hollins and Polite; of course, in addition to Lewis.
Next week: Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, Darious Williams
Next year: Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long
Free agent: Hill
Williams is a restricted free agent and I’d expect LA to make the money work somehow. Hill is a free agent. This is likely a position that needs further investment in next year’s draft.
Next week: John Johnson, Taylor Rapp, Terrell Burgess
Next year: Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Taylor Rapp
Free agent: Johnson
Johnson is another free agent but Fuller has been the Rams prized rookie this season. Burgess was drafted higher than Fuller, so the hope is that his ceiling gives him a future as bright as Johnson’s present.
Next week: Sam Sloman, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide
Next year: Hekker, ?, ?
Free agent: McQuaide
I imagine the longsnapper situation will be sorted out. Sloman still has to earn his right to return next season.