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Rams’ next spending priority could be on extensions for Jared Goff and Marcus Peters

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  • Rams’ next spending priority could be on extensions for Jared Goff and Marcus Peters

    Rams’ next spending priority could be on extensions for Jared Goff and Marcus Peters
    By GARY KLEIN
    MAR 26, 2019 | 8:50 PM

    The Rams are done, for the most part, with free agency.

    They are turning their attention to the NFL draft in April.

    Looming — perhaps in May, June, July or beyond — are possible discussions about extensions for players such as quarterback Jared Goff and cornerback Marcus Peters.

    Last July, receiver Brandin Cooks got an extension with $50.5 million guaranteed. Running back Todd Gurley’s extension later that month guaranteed $45 million. In August, offensive lineman Rob Havenstein received an extension and $16.2 million guaranteed, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald got $87 million in guaranteed money on the eve of the season.

    The Rams made all of those deals knowing that Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, would be going into his fourth season in 2019.

    Goff this season will have a base salary of $4.3 million, and carry a salary-cap number of $8.9 million, according to overthecap.com. That is a bargain in a league where the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks will have cap numbers of $23 million to $29.5 million.

    The Rams are more likely to extend Goff after his fourth season, but the franchise has shown a willingness to extend players after their third, including former receiver Tavon Austin in 2016 and Gurley last year.

    Goff, 24, is coming off his second consecutive Pro Bowl season and led the Rams to the Super Bowl.

    “Jared’s obviously extremely important to us,” coach Sean McVay said Tuesday during a breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. “But those are things that we know we want to get him done at some point.

    “Whether it happens this year, next year, those are things we haven’t really gotten into in depth about yet.”

    Goff is represented by the same agency as Cooks, receiver Cooper Kupp and new backup quarterback Blake Bortles. General manager Les Snead joked that, “it seems like we’re always talking through that situation of when,” regarding Goff.

    “Jared’s in a very similar boat [as] the rest of the guys,” Snead said. “Let us get through this phase right now because this phase directly impacts the ’19 season, and then after that we’ll figure out ’20 and beyond.”

    The Rams traded for Peters, 26, before last season and paid the two-time Pro Bowl player about $1.7 million. They exercised their fifth-year option and will pay Peters about $9.1 million this season.

    But will they extend his contract?

    Peters returned an interception for a touchdown in the opener against the Oakland Raiders. But he played through a calf injury suffered in Week 3 against the Chargers and did not perform at his previous level through much of the season. A player who had 19 interceptions in his first three NFL seasons had three in 2018.

    “He made plays that weren’t really indicative of what we feel like he is,” McVay said. “And what I love the most about Marcus is that he took accountability for it.”

    McVay noted that Peters played better late in the season and played his best game in the Super Bowl, a 13-3 victory by the New England Patriots.

    The Rams “absolutely” would like to have Peters around for years to come, McVay said.

    “I told his agent … ‘If he keeps playing this way, I think hopefully we’ll get a chance to work together for a long time,’ ” McVay said.

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    Peters’ improved play helped “his cause” in regard to a possible extension, Snead said.

    “Anytime you trade for a young player, the goal is for that guy to be a Ram,” Snead said. “That would be the intent of the trade, is you know that this would be nice if this worked out.”

    Etc.
    Snead said the Rams had discussions with defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh’s representative and “being part of the Rams is pretty much guaranteed to be off the table,” based on “budgetary constraints this year [that] probably doesn’t fit in his desires.” But he noted that “two weeks later, he calls up and says, ‘I want to play for this,’ then you may reopen” the case for bringing him back.

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  • MauiRam
    Rams burning question: Can Sean McVay make Jared Goff a poor man's Kirk Cousins?
    by MauiRam
    Cousins is pretty rich, so that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world



    Rookie seasons are rarely memorable for NFL quarterbacks, but Jared Goff's first shot as an NFL signal caller was entirely forgettable. He rode pine until late November, with Rams coach Jeff Fisher stubbornly sticking by Case Keenum. When he finally got the starting job, Goff went 0-7, was a little lucky to complete 50 percent of his passes and threw just five touchdown passes, three of which came in one game against the Saints.

    Fisher was fired midseason and the Rams cleaned house after 2016 ended, all while watching the Titans select a talented wideout with the top-five pick that the Rams handed them as part of last year's Goff deal. The Rams' next hire was a critical one and they went uber young with it, bringing 30-year-old Sean McVay over from Washington.

    (The Rams are back at training camp! Don't MISS anything as they prepare to try and make the playoffs -- take five seconds to Sign up for our Free Rams newsletter now!)

    Make no mistake, McVay's hire is about turning Goff into a legitimate quarterback. McVay's tutelage in Washington turned Kirk Cousins into the ultimate conundrum: a quarterback who plays well enough you have to pay him but not well enough to commit past massive single-year franchise tag deals.

    A lot of what you see with Goff and the Rams from 2016 is a case of Los Angeles putting major reigns on their rookie quarterback and limiting what he can do with a particular play. There are four guys running routes here but only one of them is really in play here. Goff is throwing to Tyler Higbee. via NFL GamePass
    It's not surprising for an offense to put a cap on a rookie early on and for coaches to limit the amount of things a player has to worry about, but Goff was so obviously locked into a single target that he was sometimes throwing before he finished his drop. via NFL GamePass
    Again, there are four routes being run but three of them might as well be decoys. This throw, by the way, resulted in a 19-yard completion and even set up a 24-yard Todd Gurley touchdown run. But let's not get too caught up in results. Everything about the gameplan in Goff's first start -- Week 11 against the Dolphins -- was rudimentary to the nth degree.

    The creativity level was about what you would expect out of the worst offense in the league. The Rams averaged a measly 14 points per game and trailed even the 31st-ranked Jets by a healthy margin in DVOA. On a critical 3rd-and-4 play call against Miami, with the Rams leading 7-0 and 2:32 left in the second quarter, here's what Goff saw at the top of his shotgun drop. via NFL GamePass
    It looks like rush hour between the hash marks. Ndamukong Suh ripping through the offensive line didn't help matters and it resulted in a sack. Pressure was a problem for Goff, who finished the...
    -08-10-2017, 01:22 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Jared Goff expects Sean McVay 'to bring out the best in me'
    by r8rh8rmike
    Jared Goff expects Sean McVay 'to bring out the best in me'

    Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer​​​​​​​

    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Sean McVay arrived in Los Angeles on Jan. 4. The Los Angeles Rams' interviewing party took him to dinner that night in Santa Monica, then interviewed him at their facility the following morning. When they finished, McVay was asked to stick around.

    Jared Goff, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick who rests the franchise's future on his shoulders, was set to arrive later that afternoon to chat with his prospective new coach. So McVay and Goff sat in the Rams' offensive meeting room for two hours -- alone -- going over film and talking about how they might make it all work.

    Goff left hoping McVay would be the guy.

    "It was very positive," Goff said Friday, moments after McVay was formally introduced as the Rams' new head coach. "I felt like he was a guy I could play for -- and hopefully play for for a long time."

    McVay signed a five-year contract to be the Rams' new head coach on Thursday. At 30, he is the youngest head coach in the Super Bowl era. And at 22, Goff was the NFL's youngest quarterback last season.

    "Right off the bat," Goff said, "you could tell that his knowledge is extremely high. Far higher than a lot of guys."

    The Rams sent a passel of draft picks to the Tennessee Titans last year for the right to move up 14 spots in the draft and select Goff out of Cal. But Goff, who never took a snap from under center or called a play from the huddle while running an air-raid offense in college, struggled mightily throughout the preseason and didn't become the starter until the 10th game of the regular season.

    When he did, he played poorly. From Weeks 11 to 17, Goff had the fewest yards per attempt (5.31), the second-lowest Total QBR (22.1) and the fourth-lowest completion percentage (54.6) in the league. The Rams, ultimately burdened by the NFL's worst offense for a second straight year, lost all seven of those games, then went about searching for a coach who could get the most out of Goff.

    Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff, who led the coaching search, reiterated that the Rams were focused on finding the best leader and weren't specifically targeting someone for Goff. But Demoff also said, "You were always worried about making sure that Jared had continuity."

    He brought up the coach-quarterback relationship between Sean Payton and Drew Brees and that of Jon Gruden and Rich Gannon and how beneficial those became.

    "Getting that right pair with the quarterback was imperative," Demoff said.

    Goff believes he saw that in one two-hour meeting. "There was a lot of things we talked about in terms of philosophy, how the quarterback position needs to be played -- a lot of it aligned, and that was very good to hear,"...
    -01-14-2017, 12:03 PM
  • Nick
    Rams quarterback Jared Goff has gone Hollywood; yeah, well, not really
    by Nick
    Rams quarterback Jared Goff has gone Hollywood; yeah, well, not really
    By GARY KLEIN
    JUL 20, 2018 | 10:20 AM

    A few weeks before he was due to report to training camp, Jared Goff went Hollywood.

    The Rams quarterback posted to Instagram a photo of himself and three friends standing in front of the iconic Hollywood sign. It was the ascending NFL star’s first time at the hillside landmark that celebrates a region awash in entertainment and sports celebrities.

    “Is this LA enough?” Goff wrote.

    Goff automatically joined the celebrity fraternity in 2016 when the Rams made him the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. But he proved star-worthy last year after rebounding from a shaky rookie season, leading the Rams to the NFC West title under first-year coach Sean McVay.

    Now, after playing in the Pro Bowl for the first time, Goff is the triggerman for a team that is expected to contend for a Super Bowl title.

    The Southland already includes sports stars such as Rams Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and recently acquired Manny Machado, the Angels’ Mike Trout and, of course, new Laker LeBron James.

    But NFL quarterbacks can achieve rarefied air if they deliver Super Bowl victories.

    Is Goff, 23, ready to make the city his own?

    “There’s so much that goes on in this city,” Goff said. “People want to label it ‘somebody’s.’ I don’t think it is anybody’s.”

    Then he laughs and reconsiders.

    “That guy [James] that just came into town — it might be his now.

    “We’re just trying to win football games, and if you do, there’s a lot of cool things that go along with being in L.A.”

    Goff, a Northern California native, passed on many of the off-the-field opportunities —movie premieres, lavish parties, etc… — that were offered during his first two seasons. He remains selective but is becoming more willing to embrace events.

    “I’ve become more comfortable with the city and understanding where things are and how long it takes to get places and all that,” he said during an interview before a question-and-answer session with business executives at an athletic club in Cheviot Hills. “At the same time, I don’t like to ever sacrifice training or anything that will help me be a better football player.”

    After passing for 28 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, last season, Goff has taken some time to relax. He headlined a charity golf tournament in Northern California and has hung out with friends and his 7-month old dog, Quincy.

    But mainly, he has remained focused on football.

    “Just been training,” he says. “Nothing crazy.”

    As he did before last season, Goff works with quarterback trainers Tom House and Adam Dedeaux during throwing sessions in Huntington Beach. The workouts are “like a tune-up,” he said. Like a golfer working with...
    -07-23-2018, 09:14 AM
  • RockinRam
    Jared Goff Is Thriving at the Center of Les Snead’s Two-Phase Plan
    by RockinRam
    SI.com
    By Greg Bishop
    October 24, 2017

    Les Snead is the rare NFL general manager with a bicycle mounted on a trainer in the middle of his office. His immobilized Schwinn—sleek, white, decorated with stickers—appears stolen from a SoulCycle class, and its handlebars curl like ram horns toward a television mounted on the wall. That way Snead, 46, can get all Tour de France-y and watch film.

    And whereas Snead might view the velocipede as a vehicle on which to multitask, a more cynical observer could find a metaphor here for the GM’s tenure. Since arriving in 2012, none of the teams he has assembled have won more than seven games, despite constant roster churn—the NFL equivalent of pedaling furiously and not going anywhere. This season, though, the Rams are 5–2 and riding atop the NFC West (with the tougher half of their schedule approaching) because of a two-part plan that Snead started in the spring of ’16, hoping to catapult a team returning to Los Angeles from St. Louis, the franchise at once going big and going home.

    At the center of his strategy—because, duh, this is the NFL—was a quarterback. Phase 1 began in April 2016 when Snead made a calculated bet, trading six draft picks to obtain the No. 1 selection, which he used to grab Cal junior Jared Goff. The QB possessed a strong arm, a dream body type . . . and almost no experience running a pro-style offense. The ensuing NFL season unfolded about as well as could be expected. The Rams went 4–12, finishing with seven straight losses in Goff starts.

    Phase 2 started this spring, with Snead’s laying out four goals, the first three of which concentrated on enhancing everything around his new QB: 1) Hire a new coach (after Jeff Fisher was fired last December); 2) review and perfect all processes, from meeting schedules to sleep patterns to organizational philosophies; 3) improve the offense; and 4) don’t forget about the defense!

    Snead accomplished No. 1 quickly, stealing offensive prodigy Sean McVay from Washington last January. He hired Mike Forde, a high-performance consultant who was once Chelsea’s director of football operations, to calibrate the Rams’ approach to just about everything. (No. 2: check.) Then he added a left tackle, Andrew Whitworth; a center, John Sullivan; and three wideouts: Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and third-round draft pick Cooper Kupp. (No. 3: check. As for No. 4, Aaron Donald is back on the field: good enough.)

    The Rams did all this because they had to, because that’s how NFL teams win. Think of the QBs who defined this generation: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger. . . . They didn’t win on spirals alone. They were buttressed by teammates acquired specifically to help them, and they ran offenses tailored to their strengths. Brady isn’t Brady without Bill Belichick, the system he created around his QB and the teammates he obtained and improved....
    -10-25-2017, 09:00 AM
  • Nick
    Bonsignore: ‘Project Goff’ is underway at Rams headquarters
    by Nick
    Bonsignore: ‘Project Goff’ is underway at Rams headquarters
    By VINCENT BONSIGNORE | vbonsignore@scng.com | Daily News
    PUBLISHED: April 23, 2017 at 8:00 am | UPDATED: April 23, 2017 at 8:47 am

    From the inner sanctum of his Fired Football Coaches Association office some 2,500 miles from Los Angeles, Jon Gruden scoured the key piece of evidence in the case of Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff.

    The game tape, football coaches maintain, always tells the truth.

    And in Goff’s case, the images flickering from the big screen inside Gruden’s Tampa, Fla., based football think tank provided key clues to explain how Goff’s first NFL season deteriorated into a nightmare.

    “That’s an offensive line that has struggled,” Gruden testified recently. “That’s a receiving corps that has struggled.”

    Gruden could have added a flawed coaching staff short on both imagination and a proven track record of quarterback development, one that failed even the basic principals of providing support for a rookie quarterback. Like establishing a sound running game Goff could lean on – in spite of having reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley on the roster – or functional game plans, or a culture of discipline in which frustrating, drive-sabotaging penalties would finally be eradicated.

    And while factually true, it would have been speculative considering the evidence at hand.

    “I do think he went into a difficult situation,” Gruden summed up, politely.

    The result being a rugged rookie season that left fans and pundits wondering if the Rams severely over-reached by relinquishing six draft picks to move to the top of last year’s draft to select the former Cal star.

    But from Gruden’s vantage point, most of the dynamics involved were out of Goff’s control.

    The Rams, it appears, agree.

    And it has prompted them to devote almost every bit of energy and focus this offseason on improving the infrastructure around Goff and maximizing his chances of succeeding.

    Their Thousand Oaks headquarters is now the home of Project Goff, with almost every decision they make – including the direction they take in this week’s draft – motivated by creating an environment that helps expedite the development and efficiency of a position around which their world revolves.

    That includes building a coaching staff deeply rooted in quarterback development. And adding left tackle Andrew Whitworth, not only to help protect Goff but also to free up tight ends to be more active in the passing game and elevate Todd Gurley in the running game. And signing former USC wide receiver Robert Woods, a precise, dependable route-runner with sure hands who Goff can trust as a go-to target.

    All of it is designed to create a better environment in which Goff can excel.

    “Everything that we do starts with the quarterback in...
    -04-23-2017, 09:29 AM
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