The Los Angeles Rams: The Importance of Sean McVay and Les Snead’s Extensions

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The Los Angeles Rams have extended general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay through 2023. This should come as no surprise as Snead has proven to be a successful general manager without Jeff Fisher while McVay just led the Rams to the Super Bowl. 

The Men Who Run The Rams

Sean McVay has been the savior of The Los Angeles Rams. He came in as a rookie head coach in 2017. Since his arrival, the Rams have become a perennial contender. McVay and his undeniable “We Not Me” culture that surrounded the team and it’s players. He has been determined to find a way to turn a garbage franchise into one of the best around. He has brought his team to the Super Bowl, and he’s looking to do even more. 

Les Snead. The proverbial partner of McVay’s has been through a ton with the Rams organization through his seven-year tenure with the squad. Since 2012, Snead has seen Hall-of-Famers walk through his door. He has also seen his fair share of sub-five-hundred seasons – some with more losses than others. Once he joined forces with McVay, Snead has stepped up his game.

Since 2017, Snead has acquired Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Those were just through the trade market. All of his trade power seemed to come out of nowhere. After five years of being dormant on that front when he and Jeff Fisher worked in tandem with the Rams. Snead now looks to improve on a Super Bowl-caliber roster in 2019. 

Why Extend McVay?

For McVay, this was as inevitable as it gets. He has cemented his Rams legacy as the coach who brought the team out if it’s dark days. That team wanted to thank him with a new extension and a promise of financial stability. McVay’s two-year record with the team sits at 24 wins and eight losses. The team he inherited came off of a coach with the most losses in NFL history (Jeff Fisher) so having a coach destroy expectations in the win-loss column gave the organization hope. 

“I’m very thankful to be a Ram for many years to come, working with great ownership, people, coaches, and players. It’s exciting to get camp going, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves up and get to work.” Sean McVay via NFL.com 

The fan base and organizational growth is another reason for McVay’s extension. Giving the fans two straight winning seasons and a Super Bowl appearance, while promising a bright future has given the fans reason to be excited. Rams training camp has grown in popularity throughout the McVay era. This year, it was nearly packed to the brim, and McVay deserves a lot of credit for it. For a relocated team with an already small and unmotivated fan base, gaining traction in the second-biggest market in America was going to be demanding. Even with this challenge, winning fixes everything, and with McVay’s dynamic leadership to boot, the Rams’ fanbase is rising quickly. 

The media plays the biggest role in how a team is perceived. Media outlets have been ultra-perceptive when it comes to the McVay/Snead Rams. The Rams went from having all of NFL Network, ESPN, and Fox Sports ignore them and their losing records, to having at least one conversation a day about the team. That is the effect of winning. The effect of a great coach. The team has made it as one of the talking points of the league, and the positive outlook the media gives the team will no-doubt help their popularity.

McVay is also a great talker. Whether it be in press conferences, on-air interviews, or post-game speeches that go viral, Mcvay has a particular pull in the media that can barely be explained. If you’re Rams Owner Stan Kroenke, why not pull the trigger early on McVay? He has elevated all of the right things for your team, and he has put money in your pocket. It was a no-brainer. 

Why Extend Snead?

For Snead, a potential firing was closer than an extension in 2016. Coming off of his fifth-straight losing season as the Los Angeles Rams’ GM, Snead was losing traction within the organization. With the firing of Jeff Fisher in the books, many expected for Snead to be let go after the 2016 season concluded. That was not the case. Snead survived the complete overhaul of the team at the end of that season. Therefore, he started the offseason with somewhat of a fresh start with Sean McVay. 

Since then, Snead has pulled out all the stops to get McVay, the players he needs to win games. This list includes Cooks, Fowler Jr., Talib, and Marcus Peters, but also includes Ndamukong Suh, Clay Matthews, Eric Weddle, Andrew Whitworth, and Robert Woods. These players have become vital leaders and performers for the Rams on game days. Some (Whitworth, Woods, Cooks) have a chance to cement themselves as Rams legends once their time is done with the organization. 

The Businessman Speaks

“Our extension represents continuity. I think probably the best payout or the most useful dividend that continuity brings is ultimately we get to keep the right people around.” –Les Snead via businessinsider.com. 

With his trade ballast and his free agency prowess coming to a head in the 2017 offseason and on, Snead has become a recognized name in NFL circles. In the past three offseasons and past two trade deadlines, he has cemented himself as a top GM in the league. Again, Stan Kroenke had found himself in a bit of a prominent spot – the Rams owner had to extend Snead. If he didn’t, the fans would riot against the release of the trade-happy general manager. Plus the dynamic-duo of Snead and McVay wouldn’t get any new life. In the end, Snead was meant to stay with the Rams until 2023 and beyond, he is well worth the extension. 

What 2019 Holds for McVay

The immediate future looks bright for the Los Angeles Rams, and they know it. For Sean McVay, 2019 stands as the year that eyes will be on him to make necessary changes to his offense and lead his team to a third-straight winning season. Coverage of training camp has been focused on different formations and wrinkles in the offense that McVay incorporates early into the program.

With pre-season coming up, this coverage will only get more vigorous. In 2019, it’s also his job to make sure the veterans are taken care of as usual. But also to make sure that their replacements are ready to roll. All of the young offensive linemen, young cornerbacks like David Long, and young defensive linemen such as Greg Gaines all need attention from McVay and their position coaches. 2019 is about player development as much as it is about going for the Lombardi Trophy for McVay and his staff. 

What 2019 Holds For Snead

This upcoming year for Les Snead is essential for multiple reasons. Cornerback Aqib Talib and left tackle Andrew Whitworth could both retire after the season. Leaving holes in prominent positions to fill. Also, cornerback Marcus Peters’ contract is up, as is outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr’s. Players such as quarterback Jared Goff(!!!) and safety John Johnson III are up for extensions after the season.

Les Snead has his work cut out for him. In his body of work with the Los Angeles Rams has proven he isn’t scared to give extensions a tad bit early into a player’s timeline. Running back Todd Gurley and former inside-linebacker Alec Ogletree are two recent examples of this ability to extend. Dealing with retirements, free-agents, and contract extensions will all depend on how the Rams play in the 2019 season, and how well Sean McVay leads his team. Snead and McVay’s success depends on each other. 

Conclusion

The Rams have their coveted head coach locked up for five more seasons. The same team has one of the best general managers in the league locked up for the same amount of time. This was beyond essential for the team to do. The contract, for Sean McVay at least, will put him in the “upper-echelon of NFL head coaches in terms of compensation” according to NFL.com’s Michael Silver, and for a good reason. McVay will have his expectations risen and will have to deal with more departures and new names than ever before. If there is one man who can do it, it’s McVay. 

For Les Snead, the extension will get him to the ten-year mark with the Rams. A massive accomplishment for any general manager. Snead made it through all of those losing seasons with a losing coach and has found his niche with the organization after the move to Los Angeles. With contract extensions, retirements, and even more trades to make, Snead will have his hands full. Snead has the opportunity to etch his name with the best general managers in Rams history. What trades, signings, and other moves will Snead make within the calendar year? The fun thing is no one knows, and the master behind the curtains with the slicked-back hair will always surprise.

Snead and McVay earned their extensions. Now we’ll get to see what comes next. 

 

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