Over the past two years, the Los Angeles Rams have gotten a glimpse of what life might look like without Matthew Stafford. That picture hasn’t been pretty as last season they dealt with John Wolford, Bryce Perkins, and Baker Mayfield as their backup quarterbacks. This year, it somehow looked ever worse when Brett Rypien started against the Green Bay Packers.
There’s no denying that the Rams enter an interesting offseason when it comes to the quarterback position. Stafford very clearly gives them the best chance to win over a rookie quarterback. While they won’t be in the Drake Maye or Caleb Williams conversation, there will be other quarterbacks that will be worth taking in the first two rounds. The future of the quarterback position in Los Angeles is a bit murky.
The Athletic’s Mike Sando recently looked at the future of the quarterback position on all 32 teams and broke the teams into eleven different categories. These categories included:
- Committed And Wish We Could Renew Vows Daily
- Committed Without Reservation
- Committed and Content
- Let’s Do a Deal Soon
- Looks Like We Have Our Guy and He’s Cheap
- Celebrating Career Revivals, but Not Locked In
- Committed With Concerns
- It’s Complicated
- Evaluating: Long Runways
- Evaluating: Clock is Ticking
- Been Benched. Could Be Too Late
Sando put Stafford in the Committed and Content category and went on to say,
“Stafford’s age differentiates him from others in this group, adding greater uncertainty about his future. If the Rams could find another team to take Stafford’s contract, would they? It’s a fair question, and one reason Stafford is not a perfect fit in this category. But he has recovered from the elbow issues that slowed him last season. Without him, the Rams might be in the running for a top-five pick in the draft. With him, they could be near the middle of the pack in the NFC.”
Committed and Content is probably a fair evaluation of Stafford and the Rams. With that being said, there is probably an argument to be made for Committed With Concerns. As Sando says, “ If the Rams could find another team to take Stafford’s contract, would they?”
We already know that the Rams had trade talks with other teams regarding Stafford last offseason. Those talks were only exploratory and the Rams didn’t seem to have any willingness to deal Stafford. As we said at the time of those reports, we don’t know exactly what was offered or if an offer was even made. All we do know is that teams called, the Rams answered the phone, talks were brief, and LA said that Stafford wasn’t available.
With more time, Stafford maybe hits Puka Nacua on the deep corner.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) November 22, 2023
However, he HAS to be able to see Davis Allen underneath on the checkdown. It's an easy first down. Offense went three-and-out here. pic.twitter.com/xhrv1evZ8J
How much does that change this offseason? Stafford was hurt the majority of 2022 and suffered another injury, missing the Packers game three weeks ago. If the Rams are trying to make another push in 2024 and 2025, it’s very obvious that even an 85 percent Stafford gives the Rams the best chance to win.
Still, for an aging quarterback with a long list injuries, the Rams at least have to have an eye on the future. With the upcoming quarterback class with as much potential as this one, it would not be surprising to see the Rams take one to at least sit behind Stafford for a year or two.
The Rams are committed and content to Stafford for now. Does that change over the next six months?