Now that the dust has settled after Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams go into this offseason as the NFC Champions and many reasons to hold their head up high. However, if they want to sustain this success, they have to make a few key moves to keep them on top. It is hard to come back after such a terrible loss to the New England Patriots, but how they respond will show if this team is for real.
Going into the offseason, the Rams have various free agents, such as Ndamukong Suh, Rodger Saffold, Lamarcus Joyner, and many big names to go along with these guys. It is obvious they will not be able to retain all of these guys, but some of them are critical to bring back.
First, the most important guy to bring back is Rodger Saffold. The offensive line was rated as the best according to the NFL awards, and Saffold is the longest tenured Ram. Of course, there is a big question if Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan come back for another season, as they rumored to retire at the end of the season. If the Rams are able to bring back Whitworth and Sullivan for another year, Saffold needs to be a top priority. Quarterback Jared Goff does not perform well under pressure, and having the right offensive line will help the Rams succeed in 2019.
After Saffold, if the Rams bring back Ndamukong Suh, they will continue to have the best defensive line in the NFL. However, I do not see Suh coming back. He will want a big contract and has shown that he can play at the highest level in the big games, and some teams will give him that big money. It does seem like Suh loves playing alongside Aaron Donald, so maybe Donald will be able to recruit him back for another year. It does not look too likely to bring back the former top five pick however.
Other one-year rentals like Dante Fowler Jr. and C.J. Anderson could potentially come back, if they are willing to take less money. Fowler was key in the Rams victory against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game, and Anderson showed his worth late in the season. They could very easily get paid by another team. But, I could see Anderson returning in a back-up role to Gurley. Fowler is less likely just because the Rams have shown their depth at pass rushing, and I would trust Les Snead to make a good play on another pass rusher through a trade.
One of the big offseason points will be if the Rams can make magic like they did last year with trades. Last year, they traded for players like Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters to make the secondary look scary on paper. Talib never allowed a touchdown in coverage, but Peters was a little unreliable in coverage. I would not be surprised if the Rams dangled Peters as trade bait. Currently, they are combined taking a $17.1 million cap hit on the Rams, and if we learned anything from last season, it’s that if you don’t perform to your money’s worth, then you are likely to get traded.
This is the last season the Rams have the opportunity to take advantage of the Jared Goff rookie deal. He is currently only taking a $8.9 million cap hit, but will more than likely be making upwards of $18 million if he chooses to get a big deal in the following offseason. That means the Rams have one year to make this happen again. Snead and McVay need to stay aggressive in the offseason to get guys that can help this team return to the Super Bowl. They must maximize this opportunity, then worry about the money part after this season. Overall, just stay aggressive Los Angeles, and we can make that dream become a reality.