The Los Angeles Rams abruptly parted ways with veteran linebacker and future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner earlier this offseason. LA’s depth chart at linebacker is quite the frightful sight. Ernest Jones is the biggest name returning ahead of unproven names like Christian Rozeboom, Jake Hummel and a few undrafted rookies looking to make the 53-man roster.
Due to the Rams not selecting a linebacker in the draft, there’s a lot of pressure on those young guys to make up a fraction of Wagner’s production. The Denver Broncos might’ve provided LA a lifeline with the surprising release of Jake Martin.
Per wire, Broncos have released OLB Jake Martin, the Cherokee Trail HS product. He has $1m full guarantee on $4.25m salary so a surprise. #9sports— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) May 10, 2023
Martin has been in the league since 2018 and has played for four teams including the Seahawks, Texans, Jets and most recently, the Broncos. Denver acquired the veteran linebacker in a midseason trade with New York and he recorded six tackles, two tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and a sack in his five games played with the team. For his career, Martin has played in 74 total games across those four teams, accumulating 78 combined tackles, 16 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
The only risk to signing Martin is that he’s coming off a knee injury that put him on Injured Reserve during his final month with the Broncos. Either way, LA adding him would mark a low-risk, high-reward signing for the team lacking depth at a key position. Martin would only be a depth piece but he could be a crucial one at that. He’s had flashes demonstrating his high football IQ as evidenced by this 2021 game against the Cardinals.
In-season growth for #Texans Jacob Martin on his safety of Kyler Murray. Stays disciplined on the read option, instead of crashing down onto the RB.— Jordan Pun (@Texans_Thoughts) October 26, 2021
Remember his first start vs the Panthers, he made a mistake crashing down, which led to a TD. Learned from it here. pic.twitter.com/TB5jg2Vgt2
That safety didn’t matter much in the box score as the Texans went on to lose 31-5. However, it illustrates that Martin is a player that learns from his mistakes and capitalizes by correcting them in the future through similar situations. Martin also has remarkable speed which could also pump serious life into the Rams’ linebacking corps. For example, Josh Allen had no chance getting away from Martin which ended a matchup against the Bills in the Wild Card Round:
Jacob Martin explodes off the line to sack Josh Allen— (@NYJets_Media) March 17, 2022
Again, injuries will always be a concern with Martin as he’s only started more than 10 games once in his career. That came in ‘21 with Houston where he started 14 of the Texans’ 17 games. Now the Broncos could always re-sign Martin to the practice squad in case of injuries to their own linebackers over the summer. Regardless of what happens, the Rams should consider giving him a look.
LA doesn’t need Jake Martin to become a star. They simply need someone to steady the ship until the day that star arrives.