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Random Ramsdom: Penn State coach says Aaron Donald “has hurt college football”

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 3/16/23

Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Penn State Football Coach James Franklin: Aaron Donald ‘Has Hurt College Football’ (nittanycentral)

“Aaron Donald is one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, but Penn State Football coach James Franklin had some biting criticism for his impact on college football.

As the Nittany Lions opened spring practice, Franklin addressed the media, discussing his program’s quarterback situation, setting the expectations for some key positions, and made some surprising comments in Donald’s direction.

“I’m a huge Aaron Donald fan,” Franklin told reporters. “Aaron Donald has hurt college football.”

Donald is likely earmarked as a future First Ballot Hall of Famer, but his impact on how young players view the defensive line position has changed, in Franklin’s opinion, significantly.

“Because every single one of these kids think they’re Aaron Donald,” Franklin revealed. “‘Well, I’m going to lose weight, and I’m going to be more athletic.’ Well, there’s been one Aaron Donald, in 50 years, at his size, to be as disruptive as he is, as quick, and explosive, the problem is, everyone thinks they’re the exception.”

2023 NFL free agency team-by-team grades: Eagles, Dolphins, Seahawks, Bears, 49ers among early winners (cbsspports)

Los Angeles Rams: D

Key additions: TE Hunter Long (Miami Dolphins, via trade), 2023 third-round pick (Miami Dolphins, via trade)

After years of going “all-in” in pursuit of a Super Bowl title, which they achieved in 2021 by winning Super Bowl LVI in their home stadium, the Rams are undergoing a teardown. General manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay realized the need to rebuild the roster after the Rams crumbled to a 5-12 finish in 2022, the worst by a defending Super Bowl Champion in NFL history. Their “pillars” quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald all suffered injuries that caused them to miss multiple games.

As a result, they’ve allowed for a talent exodus to occur this offseason, with linebacker Bobby Wagner, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and kicker Matt Gay, among others, to abandon ship. The trade of Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a third round pick and 24-year-old tight end Hunter Long was a sad reminder of what could happen when disregarding the draft in lieu of high-priced veterans for a five to six-year span. Los Angeles has until March 15 (Wednesday) to get back over the salary cap by the start of the new league year. At least they’ll be able to pick in the first round for the first time in eight years in 2024.“

After Gilmore deal and Slay release, LA Rams Jalen Ramsey trade appears much better (ramblinfan)

“The NFL Free Agency Market is a fickle marketplace. Price of players are driven by supply and demand, true. But the supply of veteran players at higher market prices is often taken against an influx of inexpensive rookie talent in the upcoming NFL Draft. Several years ago, a deep and talented rookie crop of quarterbacks drove the price of veteran quarterbacks to their cheapest levels in years.

This year, its a deep and talented rookie crop of cornerbacks that is driving the value of veteran defensive backs spiralling downward. Ironically, the lack of elite quarterback talent in the 2023 NFL Draft is helping the value of veteran quarterbacks to exceed projections.

No, I’m not suddenly happy about the Rams return from the Miami Dolphins. Time may be a great lens to add better perspective, but it will take a lot of time to prove to me that the Rams received even close to the value that the Dolphins did in their exchange. But I no longer feel as though the Rams got fleeced. Now, it’s just a matter of the Rams selling a star NFL player from the wrong position to get optimal value. For now, that will just have to do.”

Rams don’t tender Bryce Perkins but interested in his return (nbcsports)

“The Rams did not tender restricted free agent Bryce Perkins, making him a free agent. The Rams, though, are interested in bringing back Perkins at a lower price, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports.

The tender would have cost the team $2.6 million.

Perkins made his first career start last season and completed 13 of 23 passes for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Rams lost to the Chiefs 26-10.

He is 19-of-34 for 161 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the five games he saw action in during the 2022 season.”

Seahawks offseason continues to go perfectly after Jalen Ramsey trade (fansided)

“The Los Angeles Rams have been a thorn in the Seahawks’ side since 2015. This is before Los Angeles even got really good. But Seattle did beat the Rams twice in 2022. The feeling was that Los Angeles was so banged up that they were only a shell of the team they expected to be.

But the Rams have made so many moves this offseason to let talent go, the team they were at the end of 2022 might be better than the team the Seahawks face in 2023. Jalen Ramsey is reportedly being traded to the Dolphins. Ramsey is among the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Seattle receiver DK Metcalf seems to get matched up often against Ramsey when Seattle plays Los Angeles but without Ramsey being around, Metcalf should have an easier time against the Rams. This means Seattle’s offense should have an easier time against LA as well.

Seahawks offseason is going nearly perfectly so far

But the Rams aren’t just letting go of Ramsey, they are also releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner and edge rusher Leonard Floyd. Wagner was a second-team Associated Press All-Pro in 2022. Jalen Ramsey was a Pro Bowler. Floyd has had at least 9 sacks in each of the past three seasons. That is a lot of talent for the Rams to say goodbye to.

Meanwhile, both the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers – the Seahawks’ other NFC West rivals – will have questions at quarterback entering the 2023 season. Arizona’s Kyler Murray tore his ACL late in 2022 so who knows when he might be able to return? San Francisco has multiple quarterbacks injured. Arizona made a coaching change this offseason as well.

But the Seahawks have re-signed quarterback Geno Smith, so the team’s quarterback situation is set and solid. The Seahawks might even be able to re-sign Bobby Wagner as a free agent this offseason which would improve the defense. And because the Panthers and Bears worked out a trade where Carolina would get the number 1 overall pick and will likely choose a quarterback, either defensive tackle Jalen Carter or edge rusher Will Anderson should fall to the Seahawks at pick number 5 overall in the 2023 NFL draft.”