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Should the Los Angeles Rams ‘tank’ the 2023 season

Would it be better to win eight games and miss playoffs or go broke for one year?

Gucci & GQ Sports: Jalen Ramsey & GQ’s Will Welch Invite You To Celebrate A Hero’s Journey Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Gucci

Pictured atop this article is former L.A. Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey with (future L.A. Rams quarterback???) Caleb Williams. With Ramsey among the many Super Bowl starters who have left the Rams in the last 14 months, L.A. isn’t close to resembling the team that won so many games from 2017 to 2021.

So it becomes a question of how many games the Rams could realistically win in 2023 — DraftKings has an over/under set at 7.5 wins — and whether it would be better for L.A. to strive for “just missing the playoffs” or “missing the playoffs by a LOT”.

How much do the Rams benefit from going 8-9 next season? How much does it hurt the organization if they are the worst team in the NFL for one season?

In some years, it has been very beneficial for a team to be “the worst”, like when the Indianapolis Colts drafted Peyton Manning and when the Cincinnati Bengals ended up with Joe Burrow. Other times, a draft class doesn’t have such a game changing talent at the top of the draft, as you could argue may have been the case when the Jacksonville Jaguars picked Travon Walker first overall in 2022.

Lucky for the Jaguars, they had the first overall pick in 2021 and ended up with Trevor Lawrence.

Most draft analysts looking a year ahead would say that Caleb Williams is as exciting and talented as any quarterback prospect of the last 10 years, at least. And should a team end up with the second pick, instead of the first, as is the case right now perhaps with Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in 2023, UNC quarterback Drake Maye had an unbelievable sophomore season and could be a remarkably talented QB2 in the draft.

Even if the Rams end up with a top-five pick and not number one, the top-10 of the 2024 NFL Draft is sure to have some blue chip talents that could help ease the suffering of aging stars and veterans who have moved on from the Rams. There’s also the thought that if L.A. is willing to call the 2023 season a wash, they could trade what remaining talent they have for more draft capital in the next 2-3 years that would also help them build up the roster again.

But could there be more to benefit from the L.A. Rams putting their best foot forward and stressing all their energy to try and win more games in 2023, to keep as many fans in SoFi Stadium as possible, and to not dip in morale even if it’s only for an 8-9 record and missing the playoffs?

Whether you think the Rams should tank or not, that’s up to you, but it’s certainly a question that some of have asking inside the organization already. And it could explain the last few months of decisions. What would you prefer?


If you had to choose one of these two, which record would be better for the Rams in 2023?

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