To say that it has been an interesting offseason for the Los Angeles Rams would be an understatement. Head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead started things off with a bang by releasing defensive end Chris Long and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis—both beloved homegrown leaders and fan favorites of the squad—in one fell swoop due to their large contracts and declining performances (Jared Cook was also released that day, but not many St. Louisians shed a tear).
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Even though the team was able to retain Trumaine Johnson with a franchise tag, the New York Giants snatched Janoris Jenkins from the Rams’ cornerback depth chart by signing him to a Revis-like contract of $62.5 million over five years.
Then, on March 9th of 2016, one of the more heartbreaking moments of the Los Angeles Rams free agency period occurred: starting free safety Rodney McLeod was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles for $35.0 million over five years.
Having only spent four years with the St. Louis Rams, McLeod’s departure did not hit the Rams’ fanbase quite as hard as the Long-Laurinaitis (and -Cook, if you happen to be really depressed about his release) cut. However, several Rams fans, including myself, found it hard to watch him leave the bright lights of Los Angeles for the home of Sam Bradford.
Much of this piece is directed to the Philadelphia Eagles and its fanbase but is also directed toward the NFL community in general, written by a Los Angeles Rams fan:
You’re getting one of the most intelligent and underrated defensive backs in the league, and he’s going to look great next to Malcolm Jenkins. Rodney McLeod’s journey as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams to his present status as a Philadelphia Eagle has been absolutely incredible, and I can’t wait to watch him become a star in the City of Brotherly Love.
Next: The Journey Begins