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


                    By Gregg Rosenthal
                    Around The NFL Editor

                    No general manager had a busier, bolder spring than Rams general manager Les Snead. No decision maker has more work left to do in the coming months.

                    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
                  • viper
                    What Would It Take For You To Trade Aaron Donald?
                    viper
                    The Rams are looking at paying Aaron Donald unprecedented non-quarterback money to keep him with the Rams. The kind of money that could potentially tie the Ram's hand in other personnel decisions for years to come. Injury is always a possibility and with the amount of guaranteed money they're talking about, that could be crippling.

                    If the right offer came along for Donald, would you trade him? Would you even consider a trade or is he the type of player that you have to keep, no matter what the price? What kind of offer would it take for you to take the deal?

                    Go Rams!!!

                    viper
                    -07-11-2018, 02:00 PM
                  • MauiRam
                    With preseason games upon us & Aaron Donald’s holdout lingering, what is his end game
                    MauiRam
                    By Vincent Bonsignore| Daily News
                    PUBLISHED: August 10, 2017 at 5:48 pm | UPDATED: August 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm

                    With the regular season now just a month away, contract talks between the Rams and defensive lineman Aaron Donald remain stalled. (AP Photo/Greg Beacham)

                    IRVINE – The Rams will play their first preseason game of 2017 Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys at the Coliseum. Barring a major development between now and kickoff, their best player won’t even be in the same area code, let alone in uniform and on the field with the rest of his teammates.

                    The contract holdout of All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald continues to linger, hovering over the Rams like a thick morning marine layer off the Pacific Ocean.

                    On and on it goes, now officially two weeks in length and months in execution if you go all the way back to the Rams’ organized offseason team activities. Donald was a no-show throughout OTA’s, firmly planting his feet in the ground in protest of a contract that doesn’t reflect his stature as the NFL’s best interior defensive lineman and the internal fortitude to fight for a new deal that does.

                    The last time we actually saw Donald and the Rams in the same vicinity was at a mandatory minicamp June 13. But whatever positive vibes his appearance created in Thousand Oaks that day soon faded amid contract talks that yielded no resolution, an official training camp report date that passed without Donald reporting and the 13 days that have followed in which Donald has conspicuously remained AWOL.

                    Donald and his camp have been eerily quiet throughout, but we can safely surmise they are seeking a deal that makes him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL and surpasses in annual salary the $19,062,500 that Ndamukong Suh makes and the $60 million in guaranteed money his six-year contract with the Dolphins pays him.

                    We can also safely assume the Rams have pushed a life-changing pile of money to the middle of the table for Donald to accept, an amount that will grant the 26-year-old Pittsburgh native his wish to be the highest-paid defensive player in the league.

                    They are wise enough to understand what they uncovered when they drafted Donald 13th overall in 2014, and that, three years into his original rookie deal he is wildly underpaid and deserves a contract worthy of his current stature.

                    In that respect, the two sides share mutual ground. Donald wants his just due and the Rams want to do right by him.

                    On the other hand, months of contract talks have yielded no resolution. For all the mutual motivation they share, they just aren’t connecting on the key elements of a mutually satisfactory contract.

                    The reasons for that could vary:
                    • The Rams aren’t willing to go as high over the Suh market as Donald is demanding;
                    • The two sides can’t find common ground on how much money is guaranteed;
                    • Donald’s camp
                    ...
                    -08-11-2017, 11:02 AM
                  • MauiRam
                    Why hasn’t Aaron Donald signed his big Rams contract?
                    MauiRam


                    By Vincent Bonsignore

                    Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, winner of the award for AP Defensive Player of the Year, speaks in the press room at the 7th Annual NFL Honors at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Jeff Lewis/Invision for NFL/AP Images)
                    IRVINE — If you’re keeping track of the Rams’ recent contract developments – and based on my Twitter feed that seems a likely bet – a natural reaction would be to scream: “But what about Aaron Donald?!”

                    Understandable given how Donald and the Rams have been talking for more than a year about a new contract that reflects his status as the best defensive player in the NFL.

                    Yet, they have exactly nothing to show for it.

                    That is, aside from an entire 2017 training camp holdout and the potential of another one this year. The Rams open camp Thursday at UC Irvine, but with Donald barreling into the last year of a rookie deal that falls embarrassingly short of paying him fairly, it seems unlikely he’ll step foot anywhere near Orange County until a new deal is secured.

                    And rightfully so.

                    No one deserves a new contract more than Donald, whose performance at defensive tackle the past four years has soared so far above his paycheck he’s easily the most underpaid player in the league. And given the money he’d stand to lose should he get hurt before signing an extension, it would be foolish of him to suit up for anything short of an actual game practice until an extension finally comes to fruition.

                    Nevertheless, less than 48 hours before camp officially starts, Donald and the Rams still haven’t found common ground on a new deal.

                    It stands to reason, then, how people were scratching their heads upon learning the Rams handed running back Todd Gurley a lucrative four-year, $60 million extension after already locking up wide receiver Brandin Cooks with a five-year, $80 million extension just last week.

                    Fans are probably asking: “Um, what about Aaron Donald?” in a way that suggests the Rams are prioritizing other players at the expense of arguably their best.

                    Understandable.

                    But not practical.

                    In fact, the question is flawed.

                    It’s no longer: “What about Aaron Donald?”

                    It’s: “What about it, Aaron Donald?”

                    The Rams have demonstrated they are willing to pay at the top of a position market – as they did with Gurley to reset the running back market – or competitively by making Cooks among the highest-paid receivers in the game. It stands to reason they’d do the same for Donald, coming off a 2017 season in which he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and racked up 91 quarterback pressures in 14 games.

                    Given the Cooks and Gurley contracts, you’d be on the safest of grounds to deduce the Rams have offered Donald a deal that makes him the highest-paid...
                    -08-08-2018, 03:31 PM
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