The NFL is often referred to as the league of “Not for Long”.
League history is littered with one year wonders - teams and players alike. Take the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars who reached the AFC Championship game with Blake Bortles only to fall off the map shortly thereafter. Peyton Hillis, a running back for the Cleveland Browns, had over 1,650 all-purpose yards and 11 TD’s in 2010 on his way to becoming the Madden NFL cover athlete - he struggled with injuries and never made much of an impact over the rest of his career.
While Sean McVay was the head coach of both Los Angeles Rams teams that made the Super Bowl in 2018 and again in 2021, just three seasons apart, the majority of the Rams roster had been overhauled. The Super Bowl champion Rams had a new signal caller in Matthew Stafford. The fearsome cornerback duo of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters was replaced by star Jalen Ramsey. Aaron Donald, Andrew Whitworth, Rob Havenstein, and Johhny Hekker remained unchanged - but this was more the exception than the rule.
In other words - three years is an extremely long time in the NFL, and there’s no telling what could change between now and 2025. With that in mind, what could change with the Rams’ roster by 2025?
Matthew Stafford will be 34 in time for the 2022 season, which means he’ll be 37 in 2025. Aaron Rodgers (38) and Tom Brady (44) have defied age. Others who were once the centerpiece of their franchise showed signs of decline before hanging it up: Drew Brees (41), Phillip Rivers (38), Matt Ryan (37).
While it’s completely possible that Stafford is able to play at a high level at at 37, is it what’s best for the Rams? The veteran quarterback is under contract through 2026 and it would be tough to move on from him before then. LA has proven in the past they aren’t afraid to take on significant amounts of dead money if it means improving the roster.
It’s probably fair to assume that, with the Rams re-working both Stafford’s and Sean McVay’s contract this offseason, the futures of these two individuals are linked.
If Stafford is in LA until 2025 or 2026, does that mean McVay plans to hold off a potential broadcasting career for the same amount of time? Probably.
Just for fun - who would be at the top of the list should McVay jump ship in the next couple of years? Could Raheem Morris be in play if he’s not already a head coach somewhere else? Would the Rams make a push for a former McVay assistant that ran his course elsewhere - such as Zac Taylor, Shane Waldron, or Brandon Staley? Or perhaps LA would have internal options waiting in the wings, like Thomas Brown, Liam Coen, or Eric Henderson.
Aaron Donald’s new contract allows him to either “opt-in” or retire ahead of the 2024 season - and he carries a dead money hit of $29.3M despite not being on the roster in 2025.
The only defensive players currently under contract three years from now are Jalen Ramsey and Bobby Wagner, though Wagner is slated to have a cap hit between $11-12M for 2023, 2024, and 2025. The Rams could realistically move on from Wagner if the price tag is too steep, which means there’s a great deal of uncertainty on the defensive side of the football.
Could LA give contract extensions to 2023 unrestricted free agents Greg Gaines or Nick Scott, potentially keeping them with the team for several more years? Is defensive captain Jordan Fuller someone the Rams want to keep around long-term?
What else could change with the Rams’ roster over the course of the next three years? Let us know in the comments below.