The Los Angeles Rams have made their first move in free agency and it is one that was to be expected. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Rams have placed a first round RFA tender on cornerback Darious Williams.
The #Rams are extending a first-round RFA tender on standout CB Darious Williams, source said. One of their rising stars.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2021
This move should come as no surprise. Darious Williams was a standout in the Rams secondary last season. The former undrafted free agent led the Rams defense with four interceptions. He also had an interception returned for a touchdown in the NFC Wild Card round against the Seattle Seahawks.
The RFA tender will be worth $4.76M and helps solidify a top-ranked secondary as Williams starts opposite Jalen Ramsey. Williams allowed just 54.2% of passes thrown his direction to be completed last season. That was second on the team behind Ramsey. Williams also allowed just a 61.1 passer rating when targeted. That number was the best in the Rams secondary.
In order for teams to sign Williams, they would now have to offer the Rams a first round pick on top of what they would pay in capital.
After being a depth piece with the Rams in 2018 and 2019, Williams emerged as the team’s number two cornerback last season. Originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens, Williams was subsequently cut early in the season and signed by the Rams.
The team will most likely be losing Troy Hill in free agency, therefore the emergence of Williams provides a boost for the defense. While they won’t necessarily need a number two cornerback opposite of Ramsey, Les Snead and co. can focus on adding depth behind Ramsey, Williams, and David Long.
This is just the beginning of the Rams moves in free agency. They are $33M over the cap and will have to restructure several contracts in order to get under that number. The Rams will be looking to bring back other free agents such as Leonard Floyd. John Johnson meanwhile seems to have other suiters such as the Eagles, Chargers, Lions, Browns, and 49ers.