The Los Angeles Rams had only two of their free agents ranked in the top 100 players set to hit the open market by Pro Football Focus (PFF): safety Taylor Rapp and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.
Rapp was ranked as the 60th overall free agent across all positions, and they’ve noted “Los Angeles was comfortable lining him up all over, and he’s one of those players who performs OK in various alignments but is not particularly great at any one thing”. PFF had Rapp graded as the league’s 19th safety in 2022, and he usually receives high marks in terms of tackling. PFF projects Rapp will earn a three-year deal with 15.5M guaranteed and $8M annually.
A’Shawn Robinson, widely regarded as one of the best run-stopping linemen in the NFL, does not typically fare well in terms of PFF grading - he was ranked at 91st of the top 100 free agents.
He’s projected to earn a one-year deal worth $2.5M, which is probably not a realistic figure. The Rams would be silly to not re-sign the veteran at that price tag, though the team seemingly expects him to command more money on the open market than they are willing and able to pay. The resurgence of the running game league-wide last season has also made interior defensive linemen more valuable, and Robinson will be a big beneficiary of that trend.
Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic posed a stark contrast to PFF’s valuation of Robinson:
A’Shawn Robinson is one of the best run defenders in the NFL who isn’t named Aaron Donald. His 38 tackles on designed rush plays through Week 11 (when he was healthy) were tied for fourth-best among NFL defensive linemen … with Donald.
...Robinson’s free agency market may be too high for the Rams, but they’d also net a higher compensatory pick because of that.
PFF did not include specialists in their top 100 rankings, but the Rams also face a major decision on free agent kicker Matt Gay. If Robinson’s price tag ends up growing outside what LA is able to entertain, they could make a strong effort to instead retain Greg Gaines. In addition to Rapp, the Rams must also decide who to keep in the secondary with Nick Scott, Troy Hill, and David Long set to hit the open market.