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Random Ramsdom: Could the Rams really trade for Austin Ekeler?

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 5/18/23

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Trade for Austin Ekeler Proposed by Media; What Do Chargers Get? (fannation/ramsdigest)

“Chargers general manager Tom Telesco recently said via The Rich Eisen Show that “Nothing’s changed. His situation is unique. I completely understand that, which is why we kind of allowed them to kind of look and see if there was something out there available. We had no intent, no interest of trading him, but, fully knowing his situation, said go ahead and do it.”

And why didn’t that exploration go anywhere? Speculation has it that the Chargers might want a first-round pick in exchange for a deal - or that at least that’s what they wanted before the most recent NFL Draft.

But now? What is in it for the Chargers - who consider themselves contenders - to lose a star player in Ekeler, who is playing on a cheap deal (about $6 million this year), while having to wait a year for the replacement payoff (in the 2024 NFL Draft)?

Meanwhile, while the Rams could certainly use the talent ... why do they need to “shoot their shot’’ on adding a player to a team that essentially admits its in a rebuilding year ... with Ekeler coming into this locker room still unhappy about his contract?

The Rams could of course reward him with a handsome new deal, except that goes against everything that GM Les Snead has revealed about the team’s plans to re-fortify themselves in a cap-friendly way.

The Rams have Cam Akers and they drafted Zach Evans out of Ole Miss for a reason. Maybe when we get to the October trade deadline and, in what would be a surprise, the Chargers are a non-contender while the Rams are vying for a playoff berth, this “proposal’’ merits another look. But right now? It’s a “potential fit’’ for neither team.”

Rams drew 2nd-worst schedule in terms of rest compared to their opponents (ramswire)

“FOX Sports’ Warren Sharp calculated every team’s net rest edge, which essentially tells us the difference in days off between games compared to their opponents. For example, if a team coming off a bye is facing a team that just played on Sunday, the team coming off a bye would have a rest edge of +7, for the extra 7 days off they’ll have before the game.

For the Rams, only one team has a worse net rest edge: the 49ers. The Rams’ total comes in at -17, meaning they’ll have 17 fewer days of rest than their opponents this season. The 49ers are last in the NFL at -20. The Jets, Bears and Commanders have the best rest edges in the league at +12.

The problem for the Rams lies in the fact that they’ll face four teams coming off a bye: the Steelers in Week 7, the Cowboys in Week 8, the Ravens in Week 14 and the Commanders in Week 15. They also have one other game where the Rams have a -1 rest edge because they play the Bengals on Monday night in Week 3, followed by a road trip against the Colts in Week 4 – one fewer day of rest than the Colts will have that week.

Being a West Coast team, the Rams are no strangers to brutal travel schedules, and this year, they’ll fly the fourth-most miles of any team in the league. But adding in a negative rest edge makes matters even worse.

At the very least, the Rams should be healthier than they were last season when they lost several starters and had to start 11 different offensive line groups in the first 11 weeks, which was one of the biggest issues for Los Angeles last season.”

So why hasn’t former Rams OLB Leonard Floyd signed with an NFL team yet? (ramblinfan)

“Is it his level of production? Come on, it can’t be that. Leonard Floyd has played three seasons for the LA Rams and averaged 9.7 sacks, 61 tackles, and 9.3 tackles for a loss, and 20 quarterback hits per season. Because he was released by the LA Rams, he will not burden any NFL team with a swollen overpaying contract. Best of all, he was a key contributor to the LA Rams team that won Super Bowl LVI, and he brings that experience with him to his next team.

So why hasn’t OLB Leonard Floyd signed with an NFL team yet?

More questions that answers

There is still a market for veteran pass rushers. The Cleveland Browns were in the market, but opted to trade for Vikings pass rusher Za’Darius Smith. Smith was a former Pro Bowler, but he has been no better at getting to the quarterback than Floyd of late. And that acquisition of Smith cost the Browns two fifth-round draft picks. All I can say is... curious choice.

The Atlanta Falcons added OLB Bud Dupree. And the Cincinnati Bengals signed edge rusher Tarell Basham. While there may be specific details why each particular transaction was made by a team to address their need at outside linebacker, the aggregate effect is creating evidence that more is amiss than we may be aware. So which teams may be in the market for help at pass rusher?

The Buffalo Bills may need to shop for additional pass rush help with the latest update regarding the status of injured veteran OLB Von Miller. The Minnesota VIkings, who have just traded away Za’Darius Smith, might be in the market to backfill his roster spot. And there are always teams in pursuit of postseason play who would love to add someone who can get after opposing quarterbacks.

Does this open the door for the LA Rams to bring back Floyd? That is unlikely. But it does pose a lot of questions as to why nobody has scooped up a highly productive veteran like Leonard Floyd, particularly in light of the fact that so many former coaches from the Rams are now on the coaching staff of so many other NFL teams.”

Regrading 2020 NFL Draft: Bengals class goes from great to franchise-altering, Raiders go from B to the only F (cbssports)

“Los Angeles Rams

2020 Grade: B

The Skinny: As per the case the past few seasons, the Rams traded their first-round pick in this draft as part of the trade to land corner Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars. Ramsey helped them win a Super Bowl, but the Rams traded him to Miami this year. Second-round running back Cam Akers has been just OK for Los Angeles in large part because he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in 2021. He did show well late last season. Second-round receiver Van Jefferson has been a productive player when healthy and is expected to start this season. Third-round linebacker Terrell Lewis and third-round safety Terrell Burgess are no longer with the team. Fourth-round tight end Brycen Hopkins is a reserve, while sixth-round safety Jordan Fuller is a starter who has started 29 games but played in just three because of injury last season.

How I did: I liked the pick of Jefferson in the second and questioned taking Akers in that same round. I thought they got great value in the third by taking Lewis and Burgess. That’s not good. With Ramsey no longer on the roster, and not a lot of production from the rest of the draft, this was not a good draft.

New Grade: D”

2023 Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl odds and best futures bets (sportsbookwire)

“A season after winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams fell way short of expectations. They finished last season with a 5-12 record, 3rd in the NFC West. They dealt with countless injuries, losing key starters such as QB Matthew Stafford, DT Aaron Donald and WR Cooper Kupp in the 2nd half of the season.

The Rams didn’t get any better this offseason, either. They traded away CB Jalen Ramsey and WR Allen Robinson, and they also cut OLB Leonard Floyd and ILB Bobby Wagner. They added G Steve Avila with their top pick in the NFL draft, but they haven’t made any other notable roster additions this offseason. Their only newcomer outside of the draft is TE Hunter Long, who they acquired from the Dolphins in their trade for Ramsey.

Below, we look at the Los Angeles Rams’ 2023 NFL Super Bowl odds from FanDuel Sportsbook along with projected win total, playoff, conference and division odds as we make our best NFL picks and predictions.”