Following an off-season of losing key players like Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, Matt Gay, Bobby Wagner, A’Shawn Robinson, Nick Scott, Taylor Rapp, and Greg Gaines, many are expecting a major step back for the Los Angeles Rams.
After finishing with 5-12 last season (in large part due to injuries), many are expecting much of the same for a Rams team that seems to have gotten worse on paper. However, contrary to popular belief, the way the Rams have moved their squad around sort of proves that they see the needs that need to be fixed, doing so with young guys to surround the core veterans like Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp.
Here are the daily links for 6/23:
Rams’ Offseason Moves Show They Won’t Go Down Easy, Analyst Says (SportsIllustrated)
“To many, the Los Angeles Rams seem to be a team set on tanking for the 2023 season.
After a 5-12 season in 2022, it’s not hard to see why some would think that. Additionally, the Rams parted ways with some of their key players, such as trading away cornerback Jalen Ramsey and releasing linebacker Leonard Floyd. While those may not be “win-now” moves per se, to say the Rams are intentionally trying to lose would be disingenuous.
On the contrary, some even see the Rams as being a dark-horse playoff contender this season. According to Sports Illustrated, L.A.’s offseason has shown that it won’t go down without a fight.
“The Rams could easily be one of the teams tanking this season for the prize quarterbacks next draft, but I continue to focus on them keeping Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald, and having Sean McVay return after he contemplated leaving for a TV analyst job,” Sports Illustrated writes. “That group alone could make the Rams a feisty team that might find itself in the mix for a wild-card spot in December.”
“Since Sean McVay became the head coach of the Rams, Los Angeles has had a pretty clear-cut setup atop the depth chart at wide receiver. The Rams use a ton of 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) on offense, more so than any other team since 2017, and they don’t often rotate their top three receivers unless it’s out of necessity due to injury.
In 2017, it was Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. In 2018 and 2019, they had Kupp, Woods and Brandin Cooks. Josh Reynolds was thrust into the No. 3 spot in 2020 alongside Kupp and Woods, a role Van Jefferson took on in 2021 after Reynolds left. And finally, last year, it was supposed to be Kupp, Allen Robinson and Jefferson as the top three before Jefferson got hurt and Ben Skowronek stepped up.
This year, the Rams won’t have a wide receiver trio in the traditional sense, the first time in the McVay era. We know Kupp will be the top target, with Jefferson almost certainly starting with him as the No. 2 receiver. Right now, there’s no clear indication who the No. 3 wideout will be, which is why training camp is going to be so important at that position.”
“Stetson Bennett is officially under contract with the Los Angeles Rams.
According to the team’s transactions page, they signed the rookie to his four-year deal through 2026. Field Yates of ESPN also reported the news on Twitter.
Bennett’s contract is based on the rookie wage scale, so there wasn’t much room for negotiation with him and his agent. According to Spotrac, Bennett’s projected contract is worth a total of $4.54 million with a $699,140 signing bonus and a cap hit of $924,785 in 2023.”
Over the last year, I have been making an audio documentary with some geniuses @TheAthletic called “The Playcallers”.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) June 21, 2023
It’s about the rise, evolution, and clashes of the NFL’s youngest coaching tree…through the voices of those inside it.
Coming July 10:https://t.co/gos1j0adf7
LA Rams shocking reunion, and 3 reasons to love it (RamblinFan)
“I will not pretend to be indifferent to this signing. I loved what Sony Michel added to the LA Rams offense, particularly considering that he was acquired much later in the 2021 NFL season than now. Even after he signed with the Miami Dolphins, only to be released at the final roster cuts, I was still beating the drums for the LA Rams to sign him once more.
For the life of me, I am still puzzled over the fact that the LA Rams traded two picks for him, started him in just 7 games, got nearly 1000 yards of offense out of the guy, and then just let him walk in free agency. The Rams rushing attack never materialized in 2022. Sure, RB Cam Akers delivered three consecutive 100-yard games to close out the 2022 NFL season, but that was well after the Rams season was already over.”
Newcomer update: Byron Young (TheRams.com)
”He’s doing a good job. We’re throwing a lot at him. I think (Outside Linebackers Coach) Joe Coniglio has done an outstanding job in general, really with a lot of those rookies. Whether it’s Byron, Ochaun, you look at Nick, three rookie draft picks from the outside linebacker spot. But Byron, incredible athleticism. He looks like he’s chiseled out of granite out here (laughs). But he plays with a relentless motor. He’s conscientious, he’s coachable as hell. And I think he’s really going to only continue to get better.” – McVay after Day 1 of mandatory minicamp”
LA Rams Transactions:— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) June 21, 2023
• Waived, No Recall WR Sam James
Community Question: Who do you think will be the Rams WR3 in the 2023 season?
Based on the Rams Wire article above, which L.A. recevier will rise to the occasion and become that crucial WR3 that we’ve seen come up big in the McVay-era? Will it be Ben Skowronek or Tutu Atwell? Will a newcomer like Demarcus Robinson or Tyler Johnson steal the show? Can rookie Puka Nacua find his way to the starting lineup just like Cooper Kupp did back in 2017? Comment your thoughts below!