The Los Angeles Rams have their new offensive coordinator in Mike LaFleur who is coming over from the New York Jets. With new coordinators, it’s common for players who have experience with that coordinator to follow them to their next destination.
The Jets have some intriguing players hitting the free agent market or could become cap casualties. Here are five names to keep an eye on as players who could follow Mike LaFleur to Los Angeles.
1. WR Corey Davis
If the Rams are able to trade Allen Robinson or they end up cutting him, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them bring in someone like Corey Davis who wouldn’t be expensive, but brings some upside.
Davis isn’t set to be a free agent, but would save the Jets close to $10M if cut and could be a cap casualty. Since his 984 yard season in his final year with the Tennessee Titans, Davis’ time with the Jets hasn’t gone as planned. He had just 536 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Still, he’s only 28 years old and remains an underrated deep threat at wide receiver. His average depth of target of 14.5 yards ranked 12th in the NFL last season. Davis has experience in the Shanahan-like system. In 2018 he jumped from 375 yards as a rookie to 891 yards when Matt LaFleur took over as the Titans offensive coordinator.
Davis isn’t going to be a number one wide receiver and some of his lack of production can be attributed to the quarterback situation in New York. With the Rams’ cap situation, Davis might be the perfect buy-low player that ends up a great free agent value.
2. C Connor McGovern
The Rams need some stability at center and there have been few centers more stable and consistent than Connor McGovern. He was the 10th-graded center overall and in run-blocking according to Pro Football Focus last season.
McGovern needs to improve in pass protection as he gave up the eighth most pressures last season. However, 20 of his 24 pressures came with Joe Flacco or Zach Wilson under center.
The issue with McGovern comes to price. He’s still just a 29-year old center and got approximately $9M per year in his last contract. The team that signs him, if he’s not brought back by the Jets, will likely be paying similar. Brian Allen currently has a cap-hit of $6M. If the Rams can cut or trade Allen, McGovern could be someone to keep an eye on as the Rams look to rebuild some of the offensive line.
3. G Nate Herbig
Another Jets offensive lineman makes this list. Herbig isn’t going to wow anybody with his Pro Football grades. However, he gave up just 18 pressures last year which was one more than Elgton Jenkins and Landon Dickerson. That number ranked inside the top-20 among guards for fewest pressures allowed on the quarterback.
Last season, Herbig played all of his snaps at right guard. Signing him would allow the Rams to move Coleman Sheltonon to center where he has arguably been just as good as Allen and then fill in the right guard spot.
Additionally, Herbig is only 24 years old and is coming off of a one-year, $2.4M contract. He’s not going to be extremely expensive and would be able to help the Rams in the run game while not being a liability in pass protection. Like Davis, this would be a low-value signing that ends up working out.
4. QB Mike White
Mike White to the Rams this offseason probably makes the most sense given White’s experience with LaFleur. The Rams need to upgrade the backup quarterback position this offseason after what they went through last year with John Wolford and Bryce Perkins.
White has starting experience and has shown that he can help win games in the NFL. He’s likely not a NFL starting quarterback, but as a backup and someone that can fill-in when needed, he can certainly manage that.
With connections to Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s unlikely that the Jets bring back White as a third-string quarterback behind quarterback to be named later and Zach Wilson.
5. RB Ty Johnson
The Rams need to add some depth behind Cam Akers and Kyren Williams in the running back room. Ty Johnson would be a solid number three running back who could fill in as a RB2 if an injury to one of the top two running backs were to occur.
Last season with the Jets, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Johnson is someone who knows LaFleur's running concepts and would be a cheap, veteran option which is exactly what the Rams running back room needs.
Honorable Mention - WR Braxton Berrios
The Rams are in a bit of a predicament when it comes to one of their wide receiver positions. In 2021, they drafted TuTu Atwell in the second round. However, following an injury to Atwell, it was Brandon Powell who stepped up and earned a role on special teams as a returner.
This past season, Powell started to carve out a role on offense as a gadget player as he had 17 carries for 80 yards. The issue is that some of the same things Powell was doing was taking away from Atwell’s opportunities. They both do many of the same things.
Powell is set to be a free agent this offseason. Meanwhile, Berrios could be a cap casualty and be on his way out of New York. If the Rams don’t think Atwell is going to build on the momentum towards the end of last year, bringing in someone like Berrios who was that gadget player in New York and has returning experience makes a lot of sense.
Honorable Mention - OT Mekhi Becton
I’ll throw one trade scenario out there that might make sense for both teams. It’s pretty clear at this point that Mekhi Becton has not worked out with the New York Jets. Becton showed some promise as a rookie, but has spent the last two years on injured reserve.
The Rams have a void at left tackle and while Becton has been hurt the last two years, they may be able to get him for a lower price. The Jets and Becton may just be ready to move on from each other at this point. When the Rams traded Greg Robinson to the Lions in 2018, they received a sixth round pick. Becton may require more than that given his talent, but trading for Becton would be an interesting move for both sides.