The Los Angeles Rams offense is in need of a deep threat this offseason. However, without a lot of cap space or draft capital, doing so could be harder said than done. Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Rams are looking for a deep threat, and, while older, DeSean Jackson still has the speed to take the top off of defenses. He can also play in a situational role in an offense.
With other needs besides wide receiver, it would be nice to address those in the draft. Taking offensive linemen and linebacker help in the draft would be the preferred option. Additionally, Marvin Jones has been lined to the Rams due to his connection with Stafford. However, his value could be near $11M on the free agent market.
The Rams are going to need to find cheap options, especially at a position like wide receiver in which they already have a lot invested. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are two of the top-15 highest paid wide receivers in the NFL. Adding a third in the top-20 would be more than any other team in the NFL.
Heading into Sean McVay’s first season with the Rams, it was thought that the team would make a run at Jackson. Jackson was a free agent and had experience with McVay while in Washington. Instead, the Rams signed Robert Woods and Jackson signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Signing Woods worked out great for the Rams and Jackson put of back-to-back 650+ yard seasons with the Buccaneers. Jackson was then traded to the Eagles and has played only eight games over the last two years.
The benefit of signing a player like Jackson is that he’d essentially be sliding into a situational role. The Rams can stick with the development of second-year wide receiver Van Jefferson and add another dimension to their wide receivers. Despite only playing three games in 2019, Jackson scored two touchdowns and averaged 17.7 yards per reception. He also scored once in 2020, averaging 16.9 yards per reception with a long of 81.
Jackson has struggled with health over the last two years which is a large reason why he’ll be a cheaper option and shouldn’t be relied on to take a full-time role. However, Jackson still has his speed. In 2019, he had a career high 15.9 yards per target. He’s nowhere near the same receiver he once was, but for the veteran minimum or a little more, he adds exactly what the Rams need as a fourth receiver.
The Rams will have plenty of options when it comes to adding a deep threat to their offense. Marvin Jones will certainly be in the discussion. Draft targets like D’Wayne Eskridge, Amari Rodgers, and Dazz Newsome will also be looked at. However, if the Rams want to go the cheaper route and address other needs in free agency or their higher draft picks, DeSean Jackson should be in consideration.