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Ranking the top 5 free agent receiver options for the Rams

Demarcus Robinson is a free agent, so the Rams could bring him back or go in a completely different direction

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have always loved wide receivers. Since Sean McVay has joined the team in 2017 they have added the likes of Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, Josh Reynolds, Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell, Demarcus Robinson, Odell Beckham Jr., DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson and Ben Skowronek among others. There is a clear emphasis on the position under McVay.

Will the Rams add another receiver this off-season? I think that question should be answered with a resounding yes but what kind of receiver are they likely to go after.

Honorable Mention: Curtis Samuel

Samuel is a swiss-army knife wideout that has explosiveness to his game. He’s been a running back in college and a receiver so due to that he’s great at making guys miss in space. With Samuel at age 27 he’s enticing to add to an offense that could easily scheme him open. Samuel has scored 29 total touchdowns in 7 years in the NFL. He’s an honorable mention but I really was close to including him in the top five.

5. Michael Thomas

The man they call “slant boy” at one point was one of the best receivers in the league and then injuries robbed him of that. Thomas exhibited ability to play at a decent enough level where if he was in a McVay offense playing alongside guys like Puka Nacua, Cooper Kupp and Tutu Atwell, I believe he could thrive. He’s also a pretty quality a blocking receiver as well.

Pro Football Focus has his projected deal at eight million for one year. He’s going to be 31 years old but the thought of him on the Rams for a year is intriguing. He comes in on the list at five and with the understanding his fit in 2024 is all this would be. I do not see a scenario where he lasts longer this year but that might be what the Rams are looking for.

4. DeMarcus Robinson

Rams fans love him after the way he finished the season. Robinson was the eighth-highest graded blocking receiver per PFF and is going to be 30 this year. With Robinson it could be a one-to-two year thing. Robinson has a rapport built with Matthew Stafford and was well liked and valued in the locker room. There’s a pretty good chance if both sides want a return its going to happen seeing as Robinson shouldn’t command too much money.

At the same time, Robinson hasn’t had his opportunity to collect “the bag” so he may look for one big last pay day before his career is over.

3. Odell Beckham Jr.

A reunion of sorts in the works? Now, it seems a little unlikely seeing as how much Odell seemed to love the Ravens this year. However, he did win a Super Bowl with the Rams, he crashed Sean McVay’s wedding, the Rams saved a locker for him and honestly, a re-signing was expected before he tore his ACL. Could Odell really return to Los Angeles?

Well, keep in mind. The Rams had no money this past year to spend, Odell wanted to win a ring and get paid, not many expected the Rams to be as good as they were and I’m sure Odell is included in that. He still keeps in touch with the receivers like Kupp and always talks up McVay and Stafford. Don’t be surprised if Beckham Jr. joins the Rams for one last rodeo this year. PFF has him projected for a one-year $10 million deal.

2. Jauan Jennings (Restricted-Free Agent)

This might surprise some people but I think this would be a home run addition for the Rams if they could add Jauan Jennings. The former seventh-round pick by the 49ers in 2020 hasn’t been utilized nearly enough and partially that is due to the fact he hasn’t had a quarterback give him the ball but also he’s been overshadowed by George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey.

Call me crazy, I think Jennings fits exactly what the Rams do and what they would need if Robinson didn’t return. Jennings fell in the draft for his slow 4.72 forty-time but that doesn’t concern me because he’s extremely reliable, he’s an effective route runner, he can break tackles and blocks really well. He’s legitimately one of the top blocking receivers in the league which is important for any Rams or 49ers offense. I can see the 49ers giving him a higher tender which means if they gave him an original round the Rams would owe the 49ers a 7th-round pick but if they tender him as a 2nd round then the Rams would owe a second round pick.

Here’s the deal. I do not think the Rams should spend a high pick on a receiver who has never had 1,000 yards combined receiving in his four years. However, I do think if Jennings is indeed tendered with a right of first refusal, I would be all for giving him an offer sheet and if the 49ers don’t match you could get him at a decent value with no draft picks given up. Jennings is a bit of project, not the player himself but the thought here. I just envision him being a perfect hybrid third or fourth receiver that can come through in big moments like Robinson did.

1.Tee Higgins (Likely Franchise Tag Candidate)

This is what many would call unrealistic and I would push back and say I disagree. Higgins is 25 years old currently. He has a desire to block in the run game which checks a box, he offers crazy 50/50 ball contested catch upside, he’s fast and tall not to mention he’s played and made plays in a Super Bowl. Higgins is exactly what you would want as a franchise wideout. What is fascinating is that the Bengals could move on from him seeing that they need to pay Ja’Marr Chase soon and the fact Higgins called their previous offer this past off-season low.

Higgins is normally a too good to let go type of player but the Bengals may have to tag him and trade him away. There are both sides to the story. Higgins when healthy is worth every penny and then some, he’s been huge for the Bengals and has been a perfect compliment to Ja’Marr Chase. On the flip side, the Bengals see how he’s been hampered by injuries. When you start talking big money like over $20 million a year for a receiver, you start to worry about the little things and how a big deal like that could backfire.

My feeling is that Higgins could ultimately ask out and if he’s tagged I don’t expect he signs the franchise tag. Higgins playing second fiddle to Chase isn’t why I think this though. The reason I think this, is because Higgins pulled out of contract talks entirely after an offer that he felt was a low ball. That’s the interesting thing in this. Could the Rams throw caution to the wind and offer say a 1st and 3rd to bring in Higgins to play with Kupp, Nacua and Atwell now and have him play with Nacua post Kupp? That’s a real possibility and would give Stafford a big-bodied weapon he hasn’t seen since Calvin Johnson.

The Rams may very well go cheap at this position and try to find a DeMarcus Robinson in the later wave of free agency all over again but comments made by general manager Les Snead about getting back to what they did before in 2024 and 2025 leave us questioning what that really could mean. The Rams last traded a 1st round pick for a receiver in Brandin Cooks back in 2018. Could they do that again with Higgins? We’ll find out soon enough.

One thing I have learned since covering the Rams since McVay has gotten to Los Angeles. You can never count out the Rams trying to upgrade their offense. Even when you think it’s in great shape, the Rams always do something to shake it up.