The Los Angeles Rams have five linebackers scheduled to become free agents, including edge rushers Von Miller and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Miller has stated at every chance that he will “run it back” in LA and general manager Les Snead is likely to work some magic to make sure that happens.
In an effort to stabilize the position group, Snead and the Rams could benefit by signing a veteran to the roster, under a team friendly contract. There just so happens to be an edge rusher available to sign before free agency even starts, with experience playing for the Rams.
Dante Fowler was released by the Atlanta Falcons after failing to live up to the three-year, $45 million contract he signed during the 2020 free agency period. Unfortunately for Fowler and the Falcons, the pairing wasn’t the right match, as the former Florida Gator only accumulated 7.5 sacks over two seasons in Atlanta.
It works out better for Dante Fowler that 2022 was a real contract year with an astronomical $25,332,332 2022 base salary instead of a dummy/voiding year. Fowler is free to sign with any team now since he was released. If a voiding/dummy year, he would have been a UFA on 3/16.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) February 16, 2022
Prior to his stint in the NFC South, Fowler racked up 13.5 sacks over a season and a half with the Rams, including 11.5 sacks in 2019, which was second on the team. He also had a career-high 58 total tackles and 16 quarterback hits.
Judging from his numbers without the benefit of the “Aaron Donald effect,” Fowler may be on the verge of his last lucrative contract, making a reunion in Los Angeles difficult. He may be unwilling to take a team-friendly deal, as pass rushers tend to find a way to generate decent salaries. Even with the odds stacked against seeing Fowler back in LA, Snead should still inquire about his services.
Dante Fowler Jr. vs Joe Staley— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) February 16, 2022
Week 16, 2019 pic.twitter.com/VIP6VCuRaX
At worst, Fowler is an exceptional back up, capable of shining in a rotational role on the Rams. At his peak, he has shown he would be able to apply consistent pressure on the quarterback, if Miller — assuming that he does resign with the Rams — or Leonard Floyd were to miss any extended time due to injury.