The Los Angeles Rams have made their first move of the 2023 NFL free agency period, tendering edge rusher Michael Hoecht as an exclusive rights free agent.
Los Angeles is not expected to make splashy moves in free agency based on Les Snead’s comments over the last few weeks, but this move does provide some reinforcement for the team’s Edge Rusher position. The unit has become extremely thin over the course of the year because of mid-season releases of Justin Hollins and Terrell Lewis, and mostly recently the cap saving cut of Leonard Floyd.
Rams picked up DL Michael Hoecht’s ERFA tender, per source, and as expected. Hoecht played the back third of 2022 at outside linebacker and I have gotten the impression he will continue there…and technically now he’s the most productive “OLB” on the roster.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) March 14, 2023
Michael Hoecht entered free agency as an exclusive rights free agent because he had less than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. Despite receiving the tender, Hoecht is unable to negotiate with other teams.
Hoecht will presumably pencil in as one of the team’s starting edge rushers for the 2023 season after making a position change midway through the 2022 season. Shortly after making the transition, Hoecht collected 4.5 sacks over the team’s final six games. He was one of the few productive players on Raheem Morris’s sub-par defense.
Michael Hoecht— ᑭᖇO ᖴOOTᗷᗩᒪᒪ ᒍOᑌᖇᑎᗩᒪ (@NFL_Journal) December 4, 2022
inside slap, pull and arm over for a sack#SEAvsLAC #Seahawks #RamsHouse pic.twitter.com/WHN7fhyuSp
His production could see an uptick in 2023 with increased playing time alongside of three-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald.
The 25-year-old now gets another chance to prove his worth on the Rams’ defense next season. Who will be lining up next to him and will it still be Donald?
What type of production will Michael Hoecht have in 2023?
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