One of the strangest training camp stories of 2021 involves not one, but two former members of the LA Rams.
Alec Ogletree went to Chicago a couple of weeks ago to visit his friend Robert Quinn, so that they could watch Quinn’s sister compete in the 100-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Ogletree had been out of football for a nearly a year, having last been a member of the New York Jets practice squad in October of 2020 thanks to a new rule that allowed teams to sign veterans with that designation. After playing in two games for the Jets, Ogletree was released and he was an unretired free agent when he went to visit Quinn, his teammate on the Rams from 2013 to 2017.
Ogletree had planned to be in Chicago for only a couple of days, but then his agent called him and said he might as well stay. The Bears wanted to sign him.
It could have easily turned into another short stint with a team that felt the 29-year-old (he doesn’t turn 30 for another month) had given all he had to give to the league, but Ogletree has been a ballhawk in practices and now he’s looking like he could be one of the main components to Chicago’s defense next season.
When it comes to veterans, you really just never know what they could bring when given a new lease on their careers, and even Tom Brady was considered a risky investment 18 months ago.
LA has a few needs left before Week 1 and it’s possible that these veterans could be considered as options.
Running Back Todd Gurley
Let me explain myself. I don’t want to bring Gurley back to try and recreate the magic from 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, knee injuries have sapped the former Offensive Player of the Year of the explosiveness and agility that made him the most dangerous running back in the league for a short period of time. I want him back to fill the Malcom Brown role; the “put your nose down and pick up 3 tough yards to move the chains” role.
If TG3 showed anything with the Atlanta Falcons last year, it’s that he can get north and south in the red zone, especially in goal to go situations. The former Georgia Bulldog had a handful of short touchdowns in 2020 and at 6’1 225 pounds, let’s not act like he can’t lower his shoulder and run over a would be tackler or two.
Todd Gurley is a touchdown machine in 2020 pic.twitter.com/0DuHDeBzEh— Roto Street Journal (RSJ) (@RotoStJournal) November 8, 2020
Not to mention he knows the playbook. Sure, there may be some new wrinkles and even some different concepts that he may have to learn but that wouldn’t be a problem.
The problem, and one of the reasons why I’d bet money this reunion wouldn’t happen is due to the sour break up. Gurley publicly blasted Los Angeles for not paying him money he was owed, though the Rams admitted he earned that money and would be paid at the appropriate time.
What could have been if it wasn’t for that bad knee.
Center Austin Blythe
In life, we have to admit that there are times we made a mistake and/or could have tried harder. Blythe is the living embodiment of that for the Rams.
Blythe signed a one year contract with the 2020 AFC Champion (and his hometown team) Kansas City Chiefs. That contract is worth a whopping 99 million pennies — or, $990,000. There’s nothing the Rams could have done to match or beat that offer for some center insurance?
You also can’t tell me that he wouldn’t have had to seriously consider it.
The good news is there’s still time to right this wrong. It is highly unlikely that the deal he signed with the Chiefs came with a no-trade clause. With Kansas City drafting Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey (that’s another topic for another time) Blythe has now reverted to backup duties. If Les Snead reached out to KC with a late round pick on the table, do you think the Chiefs would take that?
Defensive End/Outside Linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr.
I feel like this could actually happen. The new regime in Atlanta isn’t high on Fowler, as they already had him take a pay cut. Another late round pick could temp them to part ways with a player they simply inherited from the last regime and who new head coach Arthur Smith said recently still has to win a role with the defense next season.
Fowler only had three sacks last year with the Atlanta Falcons. Put him on the opposite side of Leonard Floyd and with the best football player alive in Aaron Donald between them and let that “99 effect” double that sack total — which we already know Fowler is capable of doing with this defense.
Trading for Fowler would solidify the front-seven and allow Terrell Lewis and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who both have had fairly consistent injury issues, to simply be role players, instead of relying on one of them to fill that position as a starter.
Who should the Rams bring back?
This poll is closed
Todd Gurley. There’s unfinished business!
Austin Blythe. Solidify that offensive line!
Dante Fowler. QBs beware!
All of them!
None of them...