It was announced on Monday that the Houston Texans would be parting ways with linebacker Whitney Mercilus, and on Tuesday that transaction became official. Mercilus wants to play for a Super Bowl contender and the release was a “mutual thing” that allows the veteran to get away from the worst roster in the NFL for a chance to join one of the better teams of 2021.
Could the Los Angeles Rams be that team?
Texans officially release Whitney Mercilus. https://t.co/v0ekkCIS8C— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 19, 2021
Mercilus spoke of his desire to play for a Super Bowl contender following the release:
“For me as far as the direction I want to go, it’s definitely being with a team that has a chance to make it to the playoffs and has a chance to make it to the Super Bowl and to be with a contender, honestly. That’s the direction I want to go, as I’m in the back half of my career, to get a chance to put a cherry on the top. Honestly, it’s a blessing. I’m not sad. I’ve been blessed with the time to play 10 years in the NFL, just a kid from Akron. You watch the NFL change lives, change generationally. Being able to have that in my life has been amazing. I’ve impacted so many people on the field and off the field as well. One of the biggest thing was talking to people and letting them see how approachable I was, just having a conversation with anybody. It’s been a blessing.”
The Texans chose Mercilus with the 26th pick of the 2012 draft and he has been a consistent force the defense ever since, even if he’s not an elite pass rusher. Mercilus had a career-high 12 sacks in 2015 but has never had more than eight sacks besides that year. That could be on the way to changing in 2021:
Mercilus had three sacks in six games but Houston has shown no desire to win a game and Week 1’s victory over the Jaguars may have given GM Nick Caserio more motivation to tear apart his roster and to sit or release players who might otherwise help the Texans win on accident.
On the Rams side, Terrell Lewis has emerged recently has a pass rushing force opposite of Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins was a nice presence in that spot prior to landing on short term injured reserve. Hollins has not returned however, leaving Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and recently-added Jamir Jones to fill in as depth pieces. They’ve done fine, but if Mercilus is willing to play for pennies just to get to the playoffs, Los Angeles is certainly a contender in both regards.
Should the Rams make a call to Mercilus today?