Looking At 5 Rams Free Agent Options On Defense

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marcus peters

NFL free agency has entered day three and the Los Angeles Rams have done, well, pretty much nothing.

Ram fans shouldn’t be alarmed at the Rams lack of moves so far. The best deals in NFL free agency always come later in the game. It’s like finding late-round draft picks that contribute.

We looked at potential targets for the Rams on offense, now we’re looking at the defense. Here are five players the Rams should be interested in:

Lavonte David, Bucs LB

The bad news on David is that he’s basically Bobby Wagner 2.0. The good news is he’s probably cheaper than Wagner.

David just turned 33. He’s spent his entire career with the Bucs who are going full-on rebuild. He has made one Pro Bowl, won a Super Bowl with the Bucs in 2020. His production has been steady. He made 124 tackles last year and was set to make $6.8 million.

This is one of those moves where it’s like, why would the Rams want David if they dumped Wagner? The simple reason is that its equal production for less cost.

Jadeveon Clowney, Browns DE

At first, I thought this was a terrible fit for the Rams, but the more I thought about it the more I could really see it.

Clowney has never been the dominating star that was expected when he was the No. 1 pick in 2014, but he’s been a steady pro. He’s been to three Pro Bowls and has 43 sacks in his career.

But he’s bounced around (that’s a red flag) and got booted by the Browns after complaining about their defensive philosophy (red flag No. 2).

But with the Rams, Sean McVay and company can basically say, listen, line up next to Aaron Donald, and take advantage of all the single-teams you’re about to get since everyone doubles AD. Clowney could sign a one-year deal with the Rams and have a big year next to Donald.

Yannick Ngakoue, Colts DE

If you don’t like Clowney, Ngakoue is another interesting option. In fact, its surprising Ngakoue hasn’t been signed by anyone yet.

He was a third-rounder by Jacksonville in 2016 and had 12 sacks his second year, but the Jags were rebuilding. They traded Ngakoue to the Vikings for a second-round pick and then two months later he was swapped to the Ravens for a third rounder (that’s a red flag because it shows he can’t fit into the scheme/concept those teams have).

He bounced around with the Raiders, and then signed with the Colts on one-year ‘prove it’ style deal. Well, he proved it, with 9.5 sacks until he missed the final two games of the season because he needed (gulp) throat surgery for an undisclosed injury.

Ngaboue is about to be 28 and just entering his prime.

Poona Ford, Seahawks DL

If the Rams can’t bring back A’Shawn Robinson, who is officially a free agent March 15, Ford is a natural replacement.

Ford, like Robinson, is not a pass rusher (even though he did have a career high three sacks last season). He’s a space-eating run stuffer inside, who plays nose tackle and defensive tackle. He’s 5-11, 310-pounds, played at Texas before being drafted by Seattle.

He’s made 181 tackles in five years, doing the dirty work, getting double teamed so other Seahawks can make plays. Again, playing on the Rams DL is an attractive thing since you have Aaron Donald next to you.

Marcus Peters, Ravens DB

It does seem like Peters is going to earn some big money and resign with the Ravens, but remember, Peters was a Ram for a year-and-a-half. He was, well, Jalen Ramsey before Jalen Ramsey, in fact the same day the Rams traded for Ramsey, then sent Peters to Baltimore.

With the Rams, Peters played 22 games and had five interceptions. He helped them get to the Super Bowl in 2018. Peters had eight picks as a rookie with the Chiefs (the most interceptions Ramsey every had in a season is four – just saying).

Peters missed all of 2021 after tearing his ACL in practice just before the season started. He came back this year and played Ok. He was on a three-year $42 million deal. Ramsey, ahem, just signed a three-year $55 million deal with the Dolphins.

A Peters reunion may be farfetched, but possible.

What Will The Rams Do?

Wait. Most likely, they will wait and see how the market plays out. There’s always solid NFL players on the market (the Rams signed Wagner on March 31 last year). Don’t get suckered in thinking the Rams have to make a move, just to make a move.

Whether they lose Robinson is step one of how they will look at the free agent market on defense. Another thing to keep in mind is the Rams need both a punter and place kicker now that they lost Matt Gay.

The Rams ‘remodel’ is underway, but no one said it would be a quick project.