The NFL offseason is getting underway and I have to say, the Los Angeles Rams are not going in the direction I thought they would.
After Sean McVay and Aaron Donald announced they would be returning for the 2023 season, my expectation was that the Rams would give it one more shot at competing for another Super Bowl with their current core.
Even though the Rams are coming off a 5-12 season and lack cap space, they still have star power in place and the NFC is wide open. With better health, the Rams in theory are not that far off from competing.
So far though, all of the news and rumors surrounding the Rams have signified that they are headed in the other direction towards a rebuild or a “reboot” as they like to call it.
The Rams mutually decided to part ways with Bobby Wagner, their only All-Pro from 2022. Rumors then came out that Jalen Ramsey is likely to be traded, meaning two of the Rams’ three best defensive players from last season will be gone. And you can like call it three out of four because it is now being reported that Leonard Floyd will also be traded or cut.
It’s clear that the Rams are looking to clear up their cap sheet for 2024 and beyond and while that’s unfortunate for the Super Bowl core, it will set the franchise up better in the long term.
One other player who may not be wearing a Rams uniform in 2023 is wide receiver Allen Robinson as Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Monday morning that L.A. has given him permission to seek a trade:
The key here is that the Rams are willing to eat a portion of Robinson’s $15.25 million salary in 2023 as surely no team would be interested in him at that number. Similar to the Robert Woods trade last season, the Rams would probably only get a late-round draft pick back but would rid themselves of Robinson’s contract completely in 2024.
Robinson signing was huge mistake
With the Rams looking to trade Robinson and needing to pay part of his contract to do so, it’s clear that signing him in the first place was a huge mistake.
This isn’t some new, unique thought, we’ve been talking about it for a while. I was even skeptical of the signing when it happened.
But for it to go this south after just one season, I don’t think anyone could have predicted.
After signing a three-year, $45 million contract, Robinson played just 10 games for the Rams and had 33 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns. He was never able to develop chemistry with Matthew Stafford and had some of the worst separation numbers in the league.
Even though he’s only 29, I think it’s fair to say that ARob’s best days are behind him and if the Rams can find a taker, it makes sense to trade him even if they have to pay some of the contract.
The Rams have always taken big swings and even though they don’t all work out, I will give them credit for being able to admit their mistakes and move on. It seems that’s what they are doing here with Robinson.
If the Rams do rid themselves of Robinson, Floyd and Ramsey though, it will be interesting to see what they do next. Those moves won’t free up as much cap space this season as one would expect, so it’s not like the Rams can just turn around and sign a bunch of other stars. Plus, the organization still does not have a first-round pick this year.
So it’s looking like the Rams could struggle again in 2023 but will be in a much better place when it comes to the salary cap and draft capital in 2024.
Regardless of what their plan is though, one thing that is for sure is that the Robinson signing did not work out so hopefully their is a team willing to trade for him.