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Which pending free agents will the Rams extend this offseason?

Which pending free agents will the Rams re-sign?

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams will have some difficult decisions to make this offseason when it comes to pending free agents. As it stands, the team will have 24 pending free agents this offseason. Obviously, not all of those players will be able to come back, especially considering that the Rams are $11M over the cap according to Spotrac.

Let’s take a look at the Rams pending free agents and who the Rams could consider bringing back in 2023.

DT A’Shawn Robinson

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams get priced out of Robinson. He’ll still be on the books next season as he has a year voided on his contract. However, Robinson will likely collect that check while playing on another team.

Robinson’s market value is currently set at $8.5M which is more than the Rams are going to be able to afford for a defensive tackle. Robinson will garner plenty of interest which will lead to a compensatory pick in 2024.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

QB Baker Mayfield

Mayfield’s situation is a little complicated. Following the Raiders game, I wrote that Mayfield’s future is not in Los Angeles. I still believe that to be the case. However, his chances of re-signing since then have increased.

The quarterback market this offseason will be plentiful. Derek Carr will be on the market along with Jimmy Garoppolo. Does Tom Brady return and become a free agent? Lamar Jackson has yet to re-sign with the Baltimore Ravens. The same can be said about Daniel Jones and Geno Smith.

Mayfield’s market value is currently approximated at $6.5M. That’s more than the Rams will be able to afford. If they can get him for $2M, that may be more doable.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

CB Troy Hill

Hill has two voided years on his contract that the Rams will be responsible for next season. Hill was a good veteran presence in the secondary this season, but at 32 years old next season, the Rams could look to move on.

Hill spent much of the 2022 season hurt. Cobie Durant stepped in and played well at the end of the year. If Hill is brought back, it would be on a one-year deal. A lot will depend on what the Rams think of their secondary.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

LG David Edwards

Edwards is a situation to keep an eye on. His health this season was scary as he went on IR after suffering multiple concussions. If Edwards is healthy heading into 2023, he’s someone that the Rams need to bring back.

They’ve made the mistake in the past by not re-signing Rodger Saffold and Austin Corbett. They can’t make the same error three times. Edwards may not be a top offensive lineman, but prior to this year, he was a stable piece. After an injury-plagued season, the Rams should be able to bring him back on a team-friendly deal.

Verdict: Re-Signed

S Nick Scott

As a late-round pick out of Penn State, Nick Scott has played well over the last two years. Scott brings a physical presence in the middle of the secondary that the Rams don’t have outside of Jalen Ramsey. The safety out of Penn State didn’t have a great season, but with Jordan Fuller back, he could be in for a bounce back year in 2023.

The Rams drafted Russ Yeast, but they can’t afford to lose both Rapp and Scott. They’ll need to choose between the two and Rapp will have a market. I wouldn’t be surprised either way, but my initial guess is that Scott is back next season.

Verdict: Re-Signed

K Matt Gay

Gay might be the most important pending free agent for the Rams this offseason. They can’t make the same mistake that they made in 2019 when they let Greg Zuerlein walk and didn’t have a plan to replace him.

The Rams kicker was 28-for-30 this season and has made over 93 percent of his kicks the last two years. He's only costing the Rams around $2.5M right now, but that could go up to $5M next season. Is that a price that the Rams are willing to pay?

Verdict: Re-Signed

S Taylor Rapp

Rapp should get some interest this offseason, but likely won’t be playing for the Rams in 2023. He finished the year as Pro Football Focus’ 10th-graded safety (min. 50 percent snaps). However, he allowed 35 receptions in coverage which was the eighth-most in the NFL. That included 169 yards after the catch.

It’s time for these two sides to move on from Rapp. The Rams didn’t pay John Johnson III and typically haven’t given safeties a second contract. I don’t expect Rapp to break that trend.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

DL Greg Gaines

The Rams have typically not re-signed defensive linemen that aren’t named Aaron Donald. Gaines has played well this year, but is set to be a free agent. The Rams will set a price for Gaines, if he gets more than that elsewhere, he will likely be gone and they Rams will move forward with Bobby Brown.

Spotrac has Gaines’ market value set at $7M. It would be surprising if the Rams went that high for Gaines. At the end of the day, it depends on what Gaines’ market is like.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

P Riley Dixon

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams bring back Dixon, but at the very least they may have an offseason competition. While most were obsessed with “Punt God” Matt Araiza last year during the draft, Ryan Stonehouse set the punt yards per attempt record as a rookie.

The Rams will have several sixth and seventh round picks. It’s possible they could use one of those on a punter or bring in an undrafted free agent. Dixon ranked 13th in net yards average and was one of two punters to have more than one kick blocked. Competition is needed.

Verdict: Re-Signed

LT Ty Nsekhe

Nsekhe joined the Rams in 2012 after playing in the Arena Football League. Who would have guessed that there would be a reunion almost a decade later? Nsekhe came in and gave the Rams some stability on the offensive line. With that said, the bar was set very low.

The Rams don’t necessarily need a complete overhaul of the offensive line, but they do need to re-build some of the depth and replace some pieces. That doesn’t include bringing back a 38-year old Nsekhe.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

WR Brandon Powell

Powell is a good story and has been a fun player at times. However, his 20.2 average yards per kick return were the seventh-fewest in the NFL. His 7.7 yards per punt return were also the sixth-fewest.

On offense, bringing Powell back is redundant. He and TuTu Atwell can do many of the same things and Atwell brings more as a receiver, especially down the field. If the Rams want Atwell to continue to develop, he needs opportunities and that won’t happen with Powell on the roster.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

C Matt Skura

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Rams brought back Matt Skura at least for some veteran depth. Brian Allen is a good player, but not very reliable from a health standpoint. Skura provides some consistency behind Allen.

Still, it might be more likely that the Rams draft a center or guard. How the Rams approach the offensive line this offseason will be one of the more interesting things to keep an eye on.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

RB Malcolm Brown

Brown was brought in this season as someone who could provide running back depth and was familiar with the scheme. He likely won’t be brought back in 2023. With the free agent market, the Rams can sign an upgrade or even draft a running back in the later rounds of the draft.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

CB David Long

It’s time to move on from David Long. He simply hasn’t developed and is a liability when he’s been on the field. Much like the offensive line, the Rams will need to rebuild the secondary. That starts with moving on from players like David Long and bringing in new players. Long made some key plays in the Rams’ Super Bowl run, but a change of scenery may help both sides.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

QB John Wolford (RFA)

There are several position groups that need re-hauled this offseason and the backup quarterback room is one of them. Wolford helped the Rams make the postseason in 2020, but when called upon this season, it’s clear an upgrade was needed. The best move for Wolford may be to let his contract expire and join the Rams coaching staff.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

LB Travin Howard (ERFA)

Whether or not Howard is on the 2023 roster can be debated. However, as an exclusive rights free agent that can be brought back at the league minimum, the Rams will at least bring him in to training camp to compete.

Verdict: Re-Signed

LS Matthew Orzech

If the Rams retain Joe DeCamillis, Orzech will likely be back as he won’t cost much. However, if the Rams go a different direct with their special teams coach, they may bring in their own guy. As of right now, I would guess Orzech is back.

Verdict: Re-Signed

CB Grant Haley

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams bring Haley back to compete in training camp. However, many thought they might do the same with Donte Deayon. The Rams need to rebuild the secondary this offseason, and I’ll predict that they go in a different direction.

Verdict: Not Re-Signed

S/LB Jake Gervase (ERFA)

Similarly to Howard, whether Gervase should be on the 2023 roster can be debated. As an exclusive rights free agent, however, it makes sense to bring him back on a cheap contract.

Verdict: Re-Signed

DL Marquise Copeland (ERFA)

Bringing back Copeland on an exclusive rights free agent deal makes a lot of sense for the Rams. Copeland got a lot of good experience with Aaron Donald out and has shown that he deserves more playing time. Copeland was one of the team’s best run defenders and is a player the Rams can move forward with next season.

Verdict: Re-Signed

DL/EDGE Michael Hoecht (ERFA)

What the Rams do with Hoecht next season will be interesting. Hoecht started the season as a defensive linemen, but moved to edge later in the year. He played well in that spot, recording 4.5 sacks. That was without the help of Aaron Donald.

Will the Rams move him to edge going forward? It’s certainly something that they will need to consider. Hoecht will be back with the team in 2023.

Verdict: Re-Signed

QB Bryce Perkins (ERFA)

As is the case with other exclusive rights free agents, Perkins may not be on the 2023 roster, but he should get brought into camp to compete. The Rams need to rehaul the backup quarterback room and Perkins is part of that.

Perkins got a start this season and didn’t look impressive. In 56 plays, Perkins was the third-worst quarterback in EPA this season. He’s been on the roster the last two years and doesn’t have a lot to show from it. He’ll be brought in to camp, but unlikely he’s on the 53-man roster.

Verdict: Re-Signed

CB Shaun Jolly (ERFA)

Jolly should get a chance to come in and compete next season as the Rams look to re-build their secondary.

LB Christian Rozeboom (ERFA)

After signing on as an undrafted free agent, Rozeboom has done well on special teams for the Rams. As an exclusive rights free agent, the Rams will be glad to have him back.

Verdict: Re-Signed