NFL Free Agency is only a week away. The Los Angeles Rams may not be an active bidder. However, they will still be looking to make an addition or two. The Downtown Rams staff gives their predictions on who they who like the Rams to target in free agency.
Trying to remain realistic here. The three guys that I think that the Los Angeles Rams could target in free agency are Romeo Okwara, John Ross, and Jayon Brown. All three of these players should fit within the team’s budget as well as fill a need on the roster.
If the Rams do indeed lose Leonard Floyd, Okwara provides a potential bargain deal at edge. He’s coming off of a career-year in which he tallied double-digit sacks. With the number of edge players in free agency, Okwara could fall through the cracks and be someone the Rams target.
John Ross isn’t going to be the third wide receiver on the roster. However, he fits what the Rams are looking for and at the price tag they’d be looking. Ross is a player that can give the Rams some speed on offense and give them a vertical threat.
Lastly, I don’t expect the Rams to spend big on linebacker. But I do expect them to get a consistent piece. Jayon Brown provides some consistency and won’t be too expensive. The Rams can feature Brown on defense and then rotate Micah Kiser, Troy Reeder, Kenny Young, etc. alongside him.
1. Justin Houston: he’s 32, but he still has plenty of juice left and would be a terrific addition to the pass rush/run defense. I would imagine an incentive-laden, 1-year deal would do the trick, and he would be able to settle into Floyd’s role.
2. Marvin Jones: one of the main weaknesses for the Rams’ offense since 2019 was the absence of a downfield/red zone/contested catch boundary receiver. Enter Marvin Jones, who ranks among the best in the NFL at converting contested catches and producing TD’s from his targets. Oh, and he’s buddies with new Rams QB Matthew Stafford. The price simply has to be right.
3. Nick Martin: although his run blocking has never been great (per PFF he’s never graded above average), his pass blocking has been very good. Given that the Rams expect to air it out downfield more with the addition of Matthew Stafford, and with Martin just turning 28 this spring, Martin gets my vote.
With the acquisition of Matthew Stafford for the Los Angeles Rams, wide receivers could be flocking to play with the veteran quarterback. Marvin Jones — who has experience with Stafford — has expressed interest in reuniting with the fearless signal-caller out West. Sean McVay would love to add a vertical threat in the offense.
Jones would give the Rams an excellent deep-threat option that thrives in contested-catch situations. The Rams have gotten accustomed to having a revolving door at the edge rusher positions due to Aaron Donald helping Dante Fowler — and likely Leonard Floyd — earn hefty paydays in free agency. Seeing that Floyd could be too expensive for Los Angeles, finding a cheaper option like Aldon Smith would be ideal.
Smith proved that he has plenty left in the tank with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. Getting an edge rusher with the traits that Smith possesses would help the Rams produce one of the best pass-rushing units again in 2021.
Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy was recently cut by the Dolphins after receiving a big contract the previous year. The Rams have struggled a tad with the inside linebacker position. Adding Van Noy secures the middle of the field and turns a weakness into a strength. Additionally, he still allows the Rams’ young inside linebackers, such as Reeder and Kiser, to develop alongside a proven top talent.
Quinton Dunbar: Dunbar may not seem like a flashy signing, but role players are important. Dunbar is interesting in many ways. He is coming off of injury, he played for Seattle last year, and he was playing for Washington when McVay was the offensive coordinator. The Rams have an elite comer in Ramsey and an emerging star in Williams. Troy Hill’s time with the Rams is likely over, as it should be. Due to Dunbar’s injury history he may very affordable. Dunbar has big play maker potential, with a keen sense for the ball and some elite hands.
Corey Lindsay: Corey Lindsay, at age 30, may be the best center in the league. Realistically speaking, centers are more affordable. However, if a bidding war occurs the Rams may not be able to get him. Adding Lindsay is not a slight to some of the Rams’ young lineman, such as Blythe. It is just that Lindsay is simply a massive upgrade and likely would be the Rams’ best lineman in 2021.