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Extend or walkaway: Rams must choose between Greg Gaines, A’Shawn Robinson in 2023

Both stand-out defensive tackles are slated for free agency after the season

Tennessee Titans v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

While the 2022 season has overall been a disappointment for the Los Angeles Rams, one of the bright spots on team has been its stellar run defense.

Last year’s free agent addition at linebacker, Bobby Wagner, has played a significant role in shoring up the middle of the Los Angeles defense, but tackles Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson also excel in this facet. Gaines was a fourth round selection by the Rams in the 2019 NFL Draft and Robinson joined the team via free agency from the Detroit Lions ahead of the 2020 season. Both have performed well over the last two years and are slated for unrestricted free agency at the season’s conclusion.

The Rams likely want to retain the services of the stand-out players, but with limited salary cap resources it’s almost impossible to see them keeping both individuals. LA is probably headed towards a choice of one of the other - should they re-sign Gaines or Robinson?

Robinson’s season-ending injury certainly complicates the decision. He was ruled out for the remainder of the year after the Week 11 game versus the New Orleans Saints. Assuming he’s fully recovered from the injury by the time he hits the open market, it’s reasonable to expect Robinson to command a higher price tag than Gaines. Robinson is just 27 years old despite having six years of NFL experience, and he’s considered one of the best run-stopping defensive tackles in the league as a former second round pick.

That’s not to say that Gaines is a slouch - he adds more juice as a passer rusher and has elite movement skills considering his 6-2, 315lbs frame. General manager Les Snead anointed Gaines as a starting level player almost immediately after the 2019 draft, but it took the tackle almost two full years before he became a regular starter along the defensive line.

The Rams could potentially decide to not re-sign either player, and instead recoup compensatory draft picks ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. LA would have Bobby Brown, Jonah Williams, Marquise Copeland, Earnest Brown, and recent waiver claim Larrell Murchison as possible internal replacements - they could also look for outside help at the position.

Let us know who you think the Rams will keep in the following poll, and be sure to give your thoughts in the comments section below:


Who will Rams re-sign at DT in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Greg Gaines
    (535 votes)
  • 10%
    A’Shawn Robinson
    (70 votes)
  • 7%
    Neither - save the cap space
    (47 votes)
  • 2%
    Neither - Replacements already on the roster
    (16 votes)
668 votes total Vote Now