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Order in which Rams need to address their (big ticket) FAs

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  • Order in which Rams need to address their (big ticket) FAs

    The Rams have several players who will require new contracts in the coming years. Of those likely to get paid $10M/year or more, here is the order I believe the Rams must address their in-house FA issues:

    1. Aaron Donald. Though the Rams can wait from a contractual/franchise tag standpoint, I think he has to go first. He's earned a big payday, and the Rams need to check this box.

    2. Brandin Cooks. We can't afford to have another one-and-done situation. I believe Cooks is a better player and a better fit than Sammy Watkins was, and I'd like to see him locked in before he hits the FA market in 2019.

    3. Ndamukong Suh. I think there is a scenario in which he could be retained on a 2-3 year deal after this season. If the Donald/Suh combination proves to be as special on the field as it is on paper, we have to try.

    4. Lamarcus Joyner. He's next up. Can't use the franchise tag on the FS position more than once.

    5. Marcus Peters. As long as his conduct is not an issue, he should be a long-term guy. Aqib Talib only has so much time left, so he'll be the shut-down CB.

    6. Jared Goff. The benefit of having him on a rookie deal won't last forever. Eventually, he'll have to be locked in.

    7. Todd Gurley. Name the last RB who proved to be worth a mega-deal after his rookie deal ran out. Not so easy, is it. I hope Gurley is a Ram for life, but there are harder positions to fill than RB.

    Others who will need new deals in the next few years, but should come at a less than premium price: Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, Michael Brockers, John Johnson

  • #2
    As Av points out, these are all huge issues looming on the LA horizon. My thoughts in red

    Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
    The Rams have several players who will require new contracts in the coming years. Of those likely to get paid $10M/year or more, here is the order I believe the Rams must address their in-house FA issues:

    1. Aaron Donald. Though the Rams can wait from a contractual/franchise tag standpoint, I think he has to go first. He's earned a big payday, and the Rams need to check this box.
    I 100% agree that he needs a deal and to be paid but it has to be fair for both parties involved.

    2. Brandin Cooks. We can't afford to have another one-and-done situation. I believe Cooks is a better player and a better fit than Sammy Watkins was, and I'd like to see him locked in before he hits the FA market in 2019.
    This is an interesting one and one I might have put even before Donald! BUT it all depends on his performance over the season and if he clicks with the team.

    3. Ndamukong Suh. I think there is a scenario in which he could be retained on a 2-3 year deal after this season. If the Donald/Suh combination proves to be as special on the field as it is on paper, we have to try.
    Not sure, just not sure if he still has the guns to keep going for another 2/3 years. I would love him to get a new lease of life with the Rams, I really would so I am holding my breath with this one.

    4. Lamarcus Joyner. He's next up. Can't use the franchise tag on the FS position more than once.
    Love to lock him up but don't see him as a Ram for much longer

    5. Marcus Peters. As long as his conduct is not an issue, he should be a long-term guy. Aqib Talib only has so much time left, so he'll be the shut-down CB.
    Fully agree, he should be in the Ram mix for a few years to come.

    6. Jared Goff. The benefit of having him on a rookie deal won't last forever. Eventually, he'll have to be locked in.
    This is one of those (including Gurley) that nobody will be able to forsee, what if he chokes this year, what if he absolutely grabs the Ram by the horns and takes us to a championship

    7. Todd Gurley. Name the last RB who proved to be worth a mega-deal after his rookie deal ran out. Not so easy, is it. I hope Gurley is a Ram for life, but there are harder positions to fill than RB.
    See comment above about Goff, same applies

    Others who will need new deals in the next few years, but should come at a less than premium price: Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, Michael Brockers, John Johnson

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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    • #3
      I can't imagine we keep all these guys. I'm hoping that maybe John Franklin Myers or somebody else shows enough to where we don't need to re-sign an aging Suh... but I don't know where else we have an in-house replacement ready to go for any of the other guys. Les better start hanging on to some of our early draft picks over the next few years!

      Comment


      • #4
        My thoughts:

        1A. Brandin Cooks. In order for McVay to really execute his gameplan, he needs dynamic offensive playmakers. We can't afford to keep losing big playmakers after only 1 season. Brandin Cooks provides a ton of versatility and big play ability and will allow McVay to creatively use Woods and Kupp and Everett as well.

        1B. Aaron Donald. This guy is the best D-lineman. He is the best defensive player. We need to do everything we can (within reason) to lock him up.

        2. Marcus Peters. This is assuming Marcus Peters meshes well with the locker room. Like Brandin Cooks is to McVay, Peters fulfills that role for Wade Phillips. Phillips' defense requires lockdown corners, so Peters provides that necessity.

        3. Gurley. I think Gurley is a monster and is more important to our offense than Goff (sorry Jared). It isn't super difficult to find capable running backs in the draft, but it is harder to find one of Gurley's caliber.

        4. Ndamukong Suh. We were fine without Suh before, and we will be fine if/when he leaves. However, if we can't lock Donald up AND we lose Suh...things start looking pretty shaky for our D-line. I think having an interior comprised of Donald/Brockers/Suh helps mitigate our weakness at ILB.

        5. Jared Goff. I like Goff and I think he is a good QB. However, do I think he is a top ten QB? No...not yet at least. I also think McVay & Co. have the ability and the track record to be able to successfully draft and develop a new rookie QB, IF REQUIRED. If we keep our key offensive weapons (Gurley, Cooks, Kupp, Woods) and sustain our o-line, I think our offense can be kind of plug-and-play for another young rookie QB.

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        • #5
          The good news with Goff is we have the benefit of his rookie contract for 3 more years (including option). By then, hopefully the decision regarding his future will be a no brainer.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think I am a bit more optimistic than most in regards to resigning Lamarcus Joyner. Maybe I am being naive by taking him at his word, but he has repeatedly stated that he's not in it for the money. I'm sure we all remember the scene in Hard Knocks where he said the Rams can keep their money and he'd rather work at Walmart than come off the bench. I think if the team keeps winning, he is playing well and gelling with his teammates, then resigning him will be a possibility. I'm sure it won't be cheap, but I think he'd be amenable to signing a reasonable contract that would keep him with the team for the long term.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is a question that must plague the Rams FO almost every day right now. The order of when each player gets signed or not, I think depends on a larger mosaic. The issues involve, how much do we allocate to each position group?, what are our other options on the roster to fill empty spots?, what can the draft offer as replacements? The issue of what should get done, such as Aaron Donald plays a role too. I think it starts with the Rams deciding whom they consider core players on each side of the ball.

              Currently Donald, Goff, Gurley, Peters, Zeurlein, Hecker, Whitworth, Kupp & Cooks likely are the core. Of course Whitworth is not a long-termer and some others in this group are not up for contracts at this time. Donald, Cooks and Peters are contracts that need attention either due to expiring rookie deals (Donald) or this can be an opportunistic time to get deals done at somewhat lower cost (Cooks & Peters).

              I'm thinking Suh is a bridge to a 1st round DT in next year's draft. We cannot afford to allocate that much cap space to the D-Line (Brockers and Donald) and cover our other needs.

              Joyner is more important than some of us think. Our division is going to be a very heavy pass oriented one given the QB's. Joyner fills a big role, not unlike Earl Thomas.

              Go Rams!

              Comment


              • #8
                Those who said that Cooks should be at the top of the list got their wish!

                If we can lock up Donald before the season, I really think that's enough for now. There will be a lot of players that will need to be addressed in 2019, but we'll have a lot more flexibility, both in terms of cap space, and the ability to replace players (if needed) through the draft.

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                • #9
                  As long as we're reviving this thread, I'm curious about the Clan's take on this in regard to Saffold since he is in his last year as well. While not the $10m plus per year club, he's getting paid just shy of 7 million this year, after being paid approximately 8 million, 7 million, 5 million, and 5 million in the previous 4 years of his deal.

                  Do others see him as a FA/extension item that must be addressed?

                  I think it's critical to see what we've got in Jamil Demby this year. A raw 6th round prospect out of Maine... will he be able to take over for Saffold next year? I have my doubts; and unfortunately, it's not going to be cheap to re-up Saffold for what I'm guessing will be a 3 year deal. I think he'll be demanding $8+ per year with a lot of guaranteed cash. That's a problem in my book. If Demby and Noteboom don't make an immediate impact, Rams are going to be hurting at OL. Let's keep in mind, until drafting Noteboom and Demby this year, the Rams had not drafted a single offensive lineman since 2015 (Havenstein, Brown, Donnal, and Wichman). So unless you have great faith in one of these guys replacing him or an offseason move being made (which can be expensive too), does Saffold become a part of the above list?
                  Last edited by KoaKoi; -07-19-2018, 01:18 PM. Reason: grammar fix

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                  • AvengerRam
                    Talking Heads' assertion that this is a one-and-done roster is not accurate.
                    AvengerRam
                    In the past 24 hours, I've heard a lot of chatter from media talking heads asserting that the Rams are built for a one-year run before the roster is gutted in FA.

                    Maybe they just aren't paying attention. Here is a list of the potential starters who are locked in for only one year.

                    Rodger Saffold
                    Aaron Donald
                    Lamarcus Joyner
                    Brandin Cooks
                    Rob Havenstein
                    Jamon Brown
                    Ndamukong Suh
                    Matt Longacre
                    Corey Littleton

                    If all the Rams had done this year was add, perhaps this would be a major concern. However, by trading away the big contracts of Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree, refraining from giving Trumaine Johnson and Sammy Watkins huge deals, and restructuring Tavon Austin, the Rams are currently on pace to have around $80-$90M in cap room in 2019 (compare that to, for example, the Eagles, who are currently on pace to by $19M over the cap in 2019), and well over $100M in 2020.

                    Given this, there is no reason why the Rams can't sign most of these players. I suspect Donald will be taken care of this offseason. I'm hoping Joyner and Cooks will be as well. Suh could be a one-year rental, but there's no certainty there. The rest are guys who will not command premium dollars and could be replaced if necessary.

                    Of course, the Rams have to look to the future, as key players like Todd Gurley, Marcus Peters and Jared Goff will all need new deals in the coming years.

                    But, if the Rams' Front Office does its job, there's no reason why the core of this roster could not be maintained for a run of 3-4 years....
                    -04-04-2018, 02:16 PM
                  • AvengerRam
                    The biggest reason the Rams are in "window" as a title contender.
                    AvengerRam
                    Check out this list of players who are currently starters or significant rotation players for the Rams:

                    Jared Goff
                    Todd Gurley
                    Cooper Kupp
                    Tyler Higbee
                    Gerald Everett
                    Pharoh Cooper
                    Rob Havenstein
                    Jamon Brown
                    Aaron Donald
                    Samson Ebukam
                    Marcus Peters
                    John Johnson

                    What do these 12 players (5 of whom have been to a Pro Bowl) have in common?

                    They are all on their rookie contracts!

                    That is a huge deal.

                    To have that much talent at key spots playing on rookie deals gives the Rams the ability to fill out their roster with guys like Andrew Whitworth, Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh and Aqib Talib.

                    Of course, this cannot last forever. These players will all eventually be in a position to negotiate their first veteran deals. Some of them (Goff, Gurley, Donald and Peters in particular), are likely to be for top $.

                    In the meantime, however, the Rams have an opportunity (over the next 2-3 seasons), to play with a stacked roster.

                    Hopefully, they will (1) make the most of it, and (2) find ways to renew with young talent to replace those who can't be re-signed.

                    Should be a fun ride.
                    -03-29-2018, 03:22 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Los Angeles Rams championship visions hinge on chemistry of fiery defensive additions
                    r8rh8rmike
                    Los Angeles Rams' championship visions hinge on chemistry of fiery defensive additions


                    Jarrett Bell, USA TODAYPublished 8:38 p.m. ET July 29, 2018

                    IRVINE, Calif. — Chemistry is the hot-button word in Los Angeles Rams camp, given the persona of a few new additions who are sure to bring a certain spark to this team on the rise.
                    “They want that edge, want that fire,” Aqib Talib told USA TODAY after a weekend practice. “That’s one of the reasons they brought us here.”

                    Talib, the Pro Bowl cornerback who won a Super Bowl with Denver, is not only reunited with laid-back defensive coordinator Wade Phillips but also has joined forces with Marcus Peters, maybe the only cornerback in the NFL who plays with more fire.

                    “It comes from the way we are cut,” added Peters, seated alongside Talib in a tent adjacent to the practice field. “We ain’t gonna back down from nothing.”

                    Talib was obtained for a fifth-round pick in a March trade, shortly after the Rams dealt a fourth-round pick to Kansas City for Peters. That the Rams were able to land two shutdown corners without paying a premium might underscore why there’s been so much buzz about how they will mesh on a unit that also added one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh, to pair up front with All-Pro Aaron Donald.

                    Suh, too, brings an intense edge that has attracted extra scrutiny and sometimes fueled controversy.

                    Now comes the prospect of mixing these components while chasing championship visions.

                    “I’d rather have those types of reputations than ‘passive,’” Phillips said.

                    If the interaction between Talib and Peters is any indication, this formula could be the ticket. Throughout the early stages of camp, the cornerbacks have been virtually inseparable, not only in working side by side during drills and having meals together, but also whirling around the UC Irvine campus together and connecting socially. It flows from a bond they began establishing during the offseason and figures to strengthen as the season progresses.

                    “We’ve just clicked,” Peters said.

                    It figures that Peters, heading into his fourth pro season, would see Talib as a certain type of veteran resource. Talib is in his 11th year yet sees it a bit differently.

                    “It’s learning from each other,” he said. “We pick each other’s brains. There’s stuff in his game that I’m learning to do right now. You can never be too smart.”

                    The additions (which include veteran nickel back Sam Shields) are poised to do wonders for the schemes that Phillips can cook up as arguably the NFL’s best D-coordinator. More man-to-man will allow for more exotic blitz packages. And Suh and Donald will likely give the Rams the league’s most dominant inside rush.

                    “The thing that’s consistent with all these guys,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of the newcomers, “is that while there’s...
                    -07-31-2018, 06:22 PM
                  • MauiRam
                    Breaking down new-look Rams: Suh boosts defense; Cooks refines offense
                    MauiRam
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                    After going 11-5 and winning the NFC West for the first time in 14 years thanks to rookie coach Sean McVay getting the best out of the offense, the Rams went to work in upgrading their defense. Six new starters are projected to flank stud lineman Aaron Donald, as the team acquired tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to be key personnel in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme.

                    McVay and general manager Les Snead did not forget to make a splash on the other side of the ball. They traded for former Saints and Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks late in free agency.

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                    Wide receiver
                    Cooks, still only 24, was traded for the second time in many offseasons ahead of the final year of his rookie deal. After going through a roller coaster in New Orleans and New England with Drew Brees and Tom Brady, respectively, Cooks hopes to last in LA as Jared Goff's go-to guy.

                    The Rams had Cooks on their radar in 2017, and he gives them both a big-play and a little-play upgrade over Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Chiefs. Cooks got a head start working with Goff before they officially became teammates. There's a good Pac-12 vibe going with Goff, Cooks and last year's surprise top wideout, Robert Woods.

                    Cooks and Woods are more interchangeable than Watkins and Woods were when it comes to their hands and skills after the catch. With Josh Reynolds, who once was tabbed as Watkins' possible replacement, coming off shoulder surgery, Cooks is a luxury born out of necessity. His quickness will give McVay new ways to stretch the passing game.

                    Cooper Kupp, who was outstanding from the slot as a rookie last season, is a few months older than Cooks. Their styles cross well, especially on pivot routes, which are staples of the Rams and Patriots' offenses in which Kupp and Cooks excelled separately in 2017. This year, when spreading the field against man coverage, the Rams will be harder to stop.

                    Defensive line
                    While Donald does whatever he wants while away from the team and waiting to get a lucrative contract extension worthy of the league's most disruptive defensive player, the Rams are figuring out the best way to fit Suh next to him on their base three-man front.

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                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Busy Rams still have major to-do list this offseason
                    r8rh8rmike
                    Busy Rams still have major to-do list this offseason


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                    The Rams' trade tsunami resulted in a wave of incoming talent, diminishing salary cap space and only one long-term contract handed out, to little-known cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. The casual confidence Snead has in his coaching staff to assimilate all the team's new players is matched by his belief that he can make all the contractual puzzle pieces fit.

                    "We have plenty of space over the next two years to lock up these guys long term and have this core together, and that's the goal," Snead said at one of the Rams' seemingly daily press conferences earlier this month.

                    The Rams are in a unique position as one of the NFL's undeniable power teams, yet they also have one of the longest to-do lists still to complete this offseason. Below is a look at what they still want to get accomplished.

                    Rams' to-do list

                    1) Sign Aaron Donald: All signs indicated that Donald welcomed the addition of Ndamukong Suh to the Rams' formidable defensive line. That congenial attitude figures to disappear if Donald is forced to play for half as much money as Suh this season (as currently scheduled). Donald, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is more likely to be playing on a contract closer to the groundbreaking pact Suh signed in Miami back in 2015. Snead has said repeatedly he has "budgeted" an extension for Donald and said this week Donald should become the highest-paid defender in football. That's been easier said than finalized for a year now. It will be a complicated contract that will presumably push a lot of salary cap pain into the future because the Rams have virtually no space at the moment.

                    2) Re-sign Brandin Cooks or Lamarcus Joyner to extensions: The Rams have three standouts from the 2014 draft class in Donald, Cooks and Joyner. Donald and Cooks are set to play this season on the fifth-year options of their rookie deals, while Joyner was retained with the franchise tag for more money -- $11.29 million. The Rams would love to free up the use of the 2019 tag by signing at least two of the three players.

                    Cooks is the better bet to get a contract quickly, with NFL Network's Steve Wyche reporting that the Rams intend to sign him long term before the season. The Rams have until July 16 to sign Joyner to a long-term deal. A contract for either player would likely be backloaded to lower the cap hit for 2018 and push money into the future. That could become a trend for the team as it builds toward moving into its expensive new stadium in 2020.

                    3) Budget for Todd Gurley and Marcus Peters contracts: There is a general misconception that the Rams are in "win...
                    -04-11-2018, 01:44 PM
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