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Rams 2021 free agents: Josh Reynolds

Does Reynolds have to fear his younger counterparts?

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams traded Brandin Cooks for a draft picked that became the selection of Van Jefferson, but the reality is that they replaced Cooks with Josh Reynolds instead. At least as it pertains to the 2020 season. Reynolds, 26 two days after Valentine’s Day, was much more of Sean McVay’s sweetheart last season than the rookie second rounder.

As the “Leonard Floyd of offense,” Reynolds saved his best for Seattle: in two regular season games against the Seahawks, Reynolds was targeted 20 times (his season-high 10 targets came in each of these contests) and he caught 14 passes for 159 yards in those games. But in the wild card win in Seattle, Reynolds played 42 offensive snaps and wasn’t targeted a single time.

It’s that mystery of inconsistence that makes Reynolds a risky signing for any team this year.

Reynolds was targeted a career-high 81 times, catching 52 passes (two more than his previous two seasons combined) for 618 yards. But he only had two touchdowns, he fumbled the ball twice, and he had three drops. To be fair to Reynolds, the 81 targets sounds like a lot more than it kinda is in a pass-heavy league.

It’s the same number of targets as what Jakobi Meyers got with the Patriots last season, and other wide receivers in that general area include Greg Ward, Tim Patrick, Laviska Shenault, Christian Kirk, Hunter Renfrow, Damiere Byrd, Nelson Agholor, Mike Williams, and Emmanuel Sanders. Does Reynolds “fit” in that group?

Yeah, kinda.

But what’s working against Reynolds, and some of those other names, is that for the most part they are either on rookie contracts or established veterans who once had better days. I believe the ones on rookie contracts, like Reynolds, should worry that they’ll be seen as replaceable for draft picks who will be the next mid-tier receivers on rookie contracts.

Hence, Van Jefferson was not drafted as a replacement for Cooks, but as a replacement for Reynolds.

(Well, kinda, I’m not comparing any of these players based on size-and-style.)

Reynolds hits free agency this year and I will guess that the Rams won’t stand in his way. Given the acquisition of Matthew Stafford, LA should feel even more comfortable that some of their passing woes — including the fact that Reynolds was the team’s only “deep threat” last season — are already resolved.


Should the Rams prioritize keeping Josh Reynolds?

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