To get perspective on how long Aqib Talib has been at it, think about this: the only three players who were drafted in the first round in 2008 who are currently under contract are Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Duane Brown. Talib, drafted 20th overall that year, is a free agent.
The same goes for cornerback Brandon Carr, the 140th overall pick in 2008. Those two and quite a few other notable recent defensive starters are still looking for their next opportunity. When will it come, if ever?
Available cornerbacks: Aqib Talib, Brandon Carr, Logan Ryan, Tramon Williams, Darqueze Dennard, Ross Cockrell
Talib made playoff runs with the Patriots, won a Super Bowl with the Broncos, and went to a Super Bowl with the Rams. He’s now 34, having only started five games in 2019 and getting traded to the Dolphins at a draft pick loss for LA.
The corner nobody expected to be available at this point is Logan Ryan, who started all 16 games for the Titans in 2019, recording 113 tackles, four interceptions, 4.5 sacks, four fumbles, and eight QB hits. Odd numbers for a corner but is there no defense that could fit him in somewhere and await production? Likely because Ryan isn’t ready to forego what could be his only opportunity left to sign a big contract before he turns 30 next year.
Available edge rushers: Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen, Markus Golden, Terrell Suggs, Vinny Curry, Cam Wake
Teams can now sign Clowney without losing a potential compensatory draft pick and without a compensatory pick going to the Seahawks. Like Ryan, Clowney’s team may not be ready to concede to NFL teams that he’s anything but a star and should be paid like it. Except that unlike Ryan, Clowney’s numbers weren’t very good and they may be hesitant to give him $18-$23 million per year after his one non-Texans season ended up with Seattle having almost zero pass rush with or without him. Then there’s the injury concerns. But eventually a team will come along.
Griffen has that potential to be the signing of the offseason for a team if he has a healthy and positive year ahead while signing on a bargain one-year deal. Assuming he’d do that. We see a lot of pass rushers who sign one or two-year deals and boost their value and/or make their teams look like geniuses. Look at the season Justin Houston had with the Colts in 2019. The Rams have about $5 million in cap space. Maybe enough to sign one veteran defensive player at $1-$2 million and honestly, you might be surprised how good of a veteran you can get at that price.
Golden had 10 sacks last season, his second double-digit sack total in four years, with two different teams, but he’s not yet found a home.
Available linebackers: Alec Ogletree, Nigel Bradham, Mark Barron, Vontaze Burfict
Two former Rams teammates here in Ogletree and Barron, both of whom did play under Sean McVay (but not Brandon Staley), and LA has a need at linebacker. Is that a potential connection for any reason to follow? Maybe once camps and the preseason get under way and the team knows what it has in their young linebackers first.
Burfict was recently reinstated. He had 18 tackles in four games with the Raiders last year.
Available safeties: Eric Reid, Reshad Jones, Tony Jefferson
There doesn’t seem to be a reason for the Rams to poke around here.
Available interior defensive players: Damon Harrison, Timmy Jernigan, Mike Daniels
LA is also doing fine at defensive tackle, but should any needs arise, there are a few interesting names still available. Only really listing for completions sake.
Of these players only, who would be the best addition to the 2020 Rams?
This poll is closed