clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Which pending free agents should Rams re-sign for 2024?

Which 2024 free agents should the Rams re-sign?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams should have a lot of cap space this season. While they should be able to sign a player or two outside free agents, they also have 24 free agents of their own that they need to take care of and decide whether or not to bring them back. Below is the list of pending free agents on the Rams roster and whether or not they should bring them back.

Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)

A player whose contract expires who has four or more accrued seasons is an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team once the new league year begins.

QB Carson Wentz

There are quite a few quarterbacks set to hit the free agent market this offseason, ranging from Drew Lock to Sam Darnold and Gardner Minshew. That also doesn’t include a strong rookie quarterback class. If the Rams wanted to draft a quarterback, they most certainly could.

It all depends on what the Rams want to do at the position. Do they simply want a veteran quarterback that they can rely on in the case that Matthew Stafford goes down or do they want to prepare for life after Stafford? After what they went through with Stetson Bennett, they may wait a year or two to go after a rookie quarterback. Wentz played well against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 18 and the Rams will try to have him back.

Verdict: Re-Sign

WR Demarcus Robinson

Robinson was a pleasant surprise this season. While he didn’t start putting up numbers until halfway through the year, Robinson is a player that impressed during training camp. Once he did start putting up numbers, the connection between him and Stafford was undeniable. He gave the Rams a speed element, but also some size in the red zone.

Last season, the Rams were able to get Robinson at a low price because nobody else had interest. That likely won’t be the case again this year. The Rams may let Robinson test the market to see what his value is among other teams. With that said, that price may end up being too much and the Rams will have no choice but to let Robinson walk.

Verdict: Doesn’t Re-Sign

CB Ahkello Withspoon

There is likely going to be a split on whether or not the Rams should bring back Ahkello Withspoon. In one sense, he had a great first half of the season and ended up leading the Rams in interceptions. However, he tailed off towards the end of the year giving up several big plays.

Withspoon finished the year giving up the ninth most yards per reception. While he had 13 forced incompletions which ranked just outside the top-10 and finished eighth in pass breakups, the value may just not be there this offseason. Witherspoon was great for the one-year, $1.08M contract that the Rams were paying him. That becomes a different conversation if his price tag jumps to $8M-$12M.

Verdict: Doesn’t Re-Sign

RG Kevin Dotson

The Rams are going to do everything that they can to re-sign Kevin Dotson this offseason. After trading for him before the season, Dotson played at a near all-pro level. He finished as the highest graded guard in run-blocking and second-highest guard overall. His 20 pressures with the sixth-fewest and he also ranked in the top-20 in pass-blocking efficiency.

This is going to be one that the Rams are going to pay close attention to once the free agency market open. They likely won’t re-sign him before then. If Dotson’s value is in the $12M-$14M range, that’s a number that Snead and co. will be glad to pay. However, if his value is closer to the $15-$17M range, they may be more hesitant to match that number.

Verdict: Re-Sign

iOL Coleman Shelton

While the Rams need to upgrade at center, don’t be surprised if they do end up bring back Coleman Shelton. Los Angeles can move on from one of Brian Allen or Shelton. It would be difficult to move on from both. Even if Shelton isn’t starting for the Rams in 2024, he at least provides good depth at both center and right guard.

However, this could end up being an Austin Blythe situation where the Rams actively don’t bring him back and simply start over at center. Shelton should be able to be brought back on a cheap deal, but at that point, are they better off just starting a rookie or Steve Avila at center?

Verdict: Doesn’t Re-Sign

TE Brycen Hopkins

For whatever reason, it just hasn’t worked out between the Rams and Brycen Hopkins. Whenever Hopkins’ number was called, he made plays. That was most notable in the Super Bowl when the Rams were without Tyler Higbee.

Whether he never developed as a blocker or other reasons, it’s unlikely that the Rams bring him back. Los Angeles will be hurt at the tight end position as Hunter Long and Higbee return from season-ending injuries. However, the Rams will hit the free agent market or the draft to replace them. It would be a surprise if Hopkins came back.

Verdict: Doesn’t Re-Sign

S Jordan Fuller

If the Rams can bring back Jordan Fuller for cheap, they may consider bringing him back. With that said, this is a team that simply doesn’t pay safeties. Over the past few years, they’ve let safeties like Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, and John Johnson III leave in free agency. Quentin Lake has developed nicely and they could select another one in the draft.

An issue with Fuller, especially over the last three years has been injuries. He missed most of last season and hasn’t been available for the playoffs since 2020. Fuller is a talented player and is a captain on the backend of that secondary. At the same time, the Rams look to be re-building the secondary and Fuller may not be part of those future plans.

Verdict: Doesn’t Re-Sign

OL Tremayne Anchrum

The Rams have spent much of the last four years developing Tremayne Anchrum. That work seemed to pay off this year when he was one of the best offensive linemen in the preseason and played well in Week 18 against the 49ers. At the very least, Ancrhum provides good depth. If the Rams are shifting their status quo on the offensive line to a heavier, stronger player, Anchrum may no longer fit.

Verdict: Doesn’t Re-Sign

Others Worth Mentioning

  • DL Larrell Murchison
  • LB Troy Reeder
  • S John Johnson
  • CB Duke Shelley
  • LS Carson Tinker
  • K Brett Maher
  • RB Royce Freeman
  • WR Tyler Johnson

When these players were brought in, they were depth signings at the time. Johnson provided depth to a young secondary this year, but was not very good in coverage. Murchison and Reeder provided affordable depth where the Rams needed it and the same goes for Shelley. However, these are all replacement level players that the Rams can pick up in the draft.

Verdict: Don’t Re-Sign

Restricted Free Agents (RFA)

A player becomes a restricted free agent when their contract expires after exactly three accrued seasons. With undrafted free agents (UDFAs) signing three-year contracts when they come into the league, if they make the roster their first season and continue under that contract they typically end up as restricted free agents. Players must be tendered by the beginning of the new league year and their salaries are based on the type of tender offered which increases in amount every season. The type of tender offered to the player also determines the compensation to the team should the player sign somewhere else.

OL Alaric Jackson

The Rams will almost definitely bring back Alaric Jackson. Even if they put a first-round tender on Jackson, they would only be paying him $6.5M next year. They may even be able to get away with a second-round tender at $4.6M.

Jackson at the very least provides good depth and may end up as the starter in 2024 at left tackle. The former undrafated free agent finished the year strong and is a solid piece on the offensive line.

Verdict: Re-Sign

DL Jonah Williams

It will be interesting to see what the Rams do with Jonah Williams. He’s a stout player in the run game and provides a good rotational pieces as the 1T on the defensive line. However, would the Rams want to sign him for $2.8M which is the cost of the right of first refusal tender? The Rams are also bringing in a new defensive line coach who may want his own guys.

Verdict: Don’t Re-Sign

LB Christian Rozeboom

Similarly to Williams, would the Rams want to pay Rozeboom the $2.8M cost of the right of first refusal tender? At the very least, Rozeboom provides some value on special teams and he is a high-effort guy on defense. While he shouldn’t necessarily be starting, he is a good rotational and depth piece in a linebacker room. Rozeboom should be back in some capacity next year. The Rams may draft a linebacker at some point, but Rozeboom brings someone with experience in the defense.

Verdict: Re-Sign

EDGE Michael Hoecht

Some fans may not want Hoecht back, but the Rams would certainly like him to return. While Hoecht started slow at EDGE, he finished the season strong as he grew into his new position. Hoecht isn’t a player that you want starting on the edge, but in a Morgan Fox type role in a rotation, he can be effective. He also gives them some size on the edge in the run game.

The Rams do have Nick Hampton and Ochaun Mathis, but both are raw player that need time to develop. Given that he is a restricted free agent, don’t be surprised if the Rams do tender Hoecht and at least have him in the rotation next season.

Verdict: Re-Sign

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA)

An NFL player whose contract expired and has less than three accrued seasons is an exclusive rights free agent. The team the player was on the previous season has the opportunity to offer the player a one-year contract for the league minimum for their credited seasons. The player cannot sign with another team unless they are not offered the ERFA tender.

WR Austin Trammell

It’s somewhat rare for exclusive right free agents to not be brought back. The Rams can bring Trammell back at the league minimum to compete for a spot on the roster next season.

Verdict: Re-Sign

RB Ronnie Rivers

The Rams like Ronnie Rivers. Even if he comes back as the third running back next season, he adds experience to the running back room. For the league minimum, they will almost certainly have him back.

Verdict: Re-Sign