Three years ago, Sean McVay and Les Snead hesitated to find a suitable replacement for kicker Greg Zuerlein and the results were disastrous. It wasn’t until the Rams signed Matt Gay midseason, their fifth kicker of 2020, that the position was finally settled.
Cut to this offseason and L.A. seems to be in no rush to find a kicking replacement for Gay, only going into training camp this week with undrafted free agent rookie Tanner Brown. Will the Rams sign another kicker before camp? Should they?
Let us know what you think in the comments. Here are Sunday’s top Rams stories around the internet.
One such veteran is former Detroit Lions veteran kicker Michael Badgley, who was recently released and could heat up the kicker competition once more. Originally a kicker for the Los Angeles Chargers, Badgley has competed in the NFL for five seasons and for five different NFL teams.
While he has never boasted a particularly strong leg, he did make 11 of 14 field goals in 2022 at a distance of 40+ yards. Unfortunately, he struggled at kickoffs, averaging just 39 yards per kickoff in five attempts with just one touchback.
I have the Rams ranked ahead of the Cardinals for two simple reasons: Los Angeles has the better quarterback (and it’s not close) and, if Cooper Kupp can return fully healthy and at a pre-injury level, Kupp is much better than anyone the Cardinals currently have on offense. Los Angeles’ offensive line is a fiasco, they don’t have much at running back, and they lost nearly every good receiver they had except for Kupp, so there’s not a lot to hope for if you are the one lone Rams fan.
The best case scenario for the Rams is that Stafford is extremely sharp every game and stays healthy. The same needs to happen for Kupp. But then all the rookies and veterans just barely hanging on have better than expected seasons as well and the Rams score just enough to lose most of their games.
A year ago, the Los Angeles Rams were the defending Super Bowl champions, and after a dominant postseason run, defensive tackle Aaron Donald was pretty universally seen as the best overall player in the NFL. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, of course, reclaimed that title in 2022. But after being limited to 11 games last season, does Donald still find himself among the very best players at any position?
The answer, according to Pro Football Focus, is yes. PFF recently ranked their top 50 players in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season, and while Mahomes claimed the top spot, Donald still came in at No. 2.
That emphasis has come to mean high expectations for running back Cam Akers, who is entering his fourth NFL season. With Akers looking to establish himself as a consistent option at the position, CBS Sports listed him in their top 50 under-the-radar players - coming in at No. 6 overall.
“The Rams are in a strange place with few remainders of the 2021 title team — Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald chief among them,” CBS Sports writes. ”But with a roster full of rookies and other unproven youngsters. Akers falls somewhere in between.”