Recapping The Rams Early Free Agency Moves

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Los Angeles Rams
Mar 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of Los Angeles Rams blue and white helmet (circa 1964-72) and the Olympic torch at the peristyle end of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Coliseum will serve as the temporary home of the Rams after NFL owners voted 30-2 to allow Rams owner Stan Kroenke (not pictured) to relocate the franchise for the 2016 season. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With a new coaching staff calling the shots, the Rams did not hesitate to jump into the free agency frenzy early.  On March 9th, the day that officially kicked off the NFL league year, Los Angeles saw both some key departures and acquisitions to the 2017 team.  

The Rams wasted no time in finding a potential solution to their offensive line woes by signing away left tackle Andrew Whitworth from the Cincinnati Bengals.  Pro Football Focus’ number 2 overall rated tackle in 2016 will be a Los Angeles Ram after he signs his 3 year, $36M ($15M guaranteed) contract.  Whitworth will immediately be plugged into protect Jared Goff’s blindside, a blindside that desperately needed protecting last season.  A move of this magnitude raises questions as to what Greg Robinson’s future will look like as a Ram.  I would venture to say the staff will shuffle him along the line, other than at center, to find his best fit.  However, in Whitworth’s case, this is a huge addition for the team in the early stages of free agency.

Only an hour after the Whitworth signing, the Rams addressed another position of need.  Former Buffalo Bill, wide receiver Robert Woods agreed to a 5 year, $39M ($15M guaranteed) contract with the club.  It is well known that Woods will be returning to the Coliseum where he spent his collegiate days playing for USC.  Drafted by the Bills in the second round of 2013, he spent his four seasons as a starter for the team.  Woods biggest asset is probably his reliable hands, but he also is a crafty route runner who displays deceptive deep speed.  He should find himself a home in the Ram’s starting lineup.

Along with the additions, there also come the necessary subtractions.  In moves yesterday and early this morning, the team parted ways with veterans Tim Barnes (C), Lance Kendricks (TE) and Eugene Sims (DE).  The cuts save approximately $16M in cap space for a team that needed some wiggle room in order to negotiate with other potential players.


AROUND COVER32

Big Landings: Alshon Jeffery lands with Philadelphia Eagles

Making Moves:: Cleveland Browns trade for Osweiler and draft picks

More Free Agency News:: Tampa Bay Buccaneers add DeSean Jackson to receiveing corps

Rams Free Agency: Los Angeles needs to make a big splash this offseason

Rams McVay: Don’t look for McVay to be just a figurehead

Rams Draft Preview: Potential picks that might land in Los Angeles


Former Rams also found new homes relatively early as well.  A fan favorite, and one of my favorite Rams, William Hayes, was traded to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a 6th round pick in this year’s draft (no. 206).  The Rams also gave Miami their 7th round pick (no. 223).  Receiver Kenny Britt landed a big payday yesterday as he agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a 4 year deal.  

Safety T.J. McDonald and running back Benny Cunningham are still free agents as it currently stands and it remains to be seen what their futures hold, whether it be with the Rams or another club.  Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that LA is still speaking with teams about a potential trade involving recently franchised corner Trumaine Johnson.

A potential deal involving Johnson could land them additional early draft picks.  More moves are likely on the horizon for LA as the team and new coaching staff looks to mold a new identity heading into the 2017 season.

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