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Kenny Golladay, Anthony Harris headline best remaining free agents

Will any of these players be affordable or interesting to Rams?

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams have seen John Johnson sign with the Browns, Morgan Fox join the Panthers, Samson Ebukam go to the 49ers, Gerald Everett move to Seattle, and Jake McQuaide join a couple old special teams buddies on the Cowboys. But among the Rams of last season who remain available are cornerback Troy Hill, wide receiver Josh Reynolds, and center Austin Blythe. Any or all of those players could return to the Rams — the team has doesn’t have an obvious replacement for any of them yet — or could continue their careers elsewhere

But since LA hasn’t prioritized re-signing any of those players yet, it could be that they’re still waiting to see if some of the remaining free agents are undervalued enough to give the Rams one hell of a bargain to play for them in 2021.

The dream scenario would reunite the top remaining receiver, Kenny Golladay, with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Golladay, who at 6’4 has a dramatically different physical profile than either Cooper Kupp or Robert Woods, put up over 1,000 yards with Stafford as his quarterback in 2018 and 2019, but missed all but five games last season. The Rams may even love the idea of adding Golladay, but after paying Leonard Floyd $16 million per season this week, it’s clear that adding a weapon to the offense isn’t the priority.

It doesn’t mean that they won’t and the receiver market has been seriously stalled this year. There was finally a bit of movement on Wednesday, when the Washington Football Team signed Curtis Samuel to a three-year, $35.5 million contract. It would make sense then that the market is stalled, because Samuel, who is only 24 and had 1,051 yards from scrimmage last season, only got $11.8 million per year; in 2020, Larry Fitzgerald signed a one-year, $11.5 million contract at age 36.

It could be that Golladay thought he would be getting $18 million per year like Odell Beckham and Tyreek Hill, but instead the offers are coming in at $14 million per year, which is roughly what Stefon Diggs signed for in 2018. And if the sides are apart by $4 million per year, then that means that they could be off by $16-$20 million in total contract value and maybe $10 million of it being guaranteed. That could push Golladay into signing a one-year deal that allows him to enter the market again in 2022, when it is expected to be a little more “booming” again.

And the only quarterback who he knows can get him the ball like he likes, is Matthew Stafford.

I don’t imagine that the LA Rams will sign Golladay, but because of the receivers who do remain available, it could become feasible now for them to sign a really good veteran number three option who will give them reassurance that Van Jefferson can’t offer and insurance for Cooper Kupp or Robert Woods should they miss any games.

Going off of CBS Sports’ top 100 free agents, these are the best remaining available as of Thursday morning.

Top available free agents:

  • WR Kenny Golladay
  • S Anthony Harris
  • LB Melvin Ingram
  • WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • OT Alejandro Villanueva
  • WR Will Fuller
  • DE Jadeveon Clowney
  • CB Xavier Rhodes
  • LB Eric Wilson
  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • CB Kevin King
  • C Austin Reiter
  • RB Kenyan Drake
  • CB Troy Hill
  • WR T.Y. Hilton
  • OT Russell Okung
  • S Keanu Neal
  • RB Chris Carson
  • CB Desmond King
  • TE Jared Cook
  • C David Andrews
  • C Matt Skura
  • CB Richard Sherman
  • DL Aldon Smith
  • CB Brian Poole
  • LB Ryan Kerrigan
  • S Xavier Woods
  • LB K.J. Wright
  • RB James White
  • CB Bashaud Breeland
  • CB Mackensie Alexander
  • S Jaquiski Tartt
  • RB James Conner
  • DT Ndamukong Suh
  • DT Sheldon Rankins
  • DL Lawrence Guy
  • LB Alex Anzalone
  • OT Rick Wagner
  • S Malik Hooker
  • S Ricardo Allen
  • WR Antonio Brown
  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • C Nick Martin
  • C Austin Blythe

Quick Thoughts:

  • Blythe didn’t make their list, but I added him at the end. The remaining centers market is fairly deep and we shouldn’t be too concerned about the Rams at least landing an experienced option, if not Blythe.
  • I think Keanu Neal could and should reunite with Raheem Morris on a one-year contract. Neal could start next to Jordan Fuller or compete to start at linebacker.
  • Troy Hill is a free agent and might have been hoping to get the contract that Mike Hilton got (four years, $24 million) and if he doesn’t, maybe that allows for an easy reunion with the Rams. There are still a lot of corners remaining.
  • There aren’t many experienced, quality starting linebackers out there and K.J. Wright might have been expecting more offers by now. The Rams wouldn’t just be upgrading one of their linebacker positions by signing Wright, but they’d be taking one away from Seattle. Or they could talk to Eric Wilson, who is only 26 and remains unsigned after 122 tackles, three sacks, and three interceptions last season.
  • If Golladay and Smith-Schuster aren’t getting what they hoped for, then could Sammy Watkins be signed for less than $5 million? T.Y. Hilton for $3 million? Antonio Brown for $1.5 million?

What do you notice on the best remaining available list?