The Rams continue to load up on defense by signing veteran Sam Shields

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: Sam Shields
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: Sam Shields /

The NFL league year has yet to officially begin, but that hasn’t stopped the Los Angeles Rams from adding to an already talented defense.

The Los Angeles Rams continue the makeover in this 2018 offseason. They’ve traded away Alec Ogletree, traded for Marcus Peters, and have now added veteran cornerback Sam Shields.

For those who lamented the Rams defense being something of a weak-link this coming season, think again.

Shields, who was with the Green Bay Packers for seven seasons, was released in February of 2017. The 30 year old cornerback had effectively been out of action since 2015, but did play in one game in the 2016 season. He was injured with a concussion in Week 1 that year and was eventually cut by the Packers.

He’s sat our the entire 2017 season as a result.

If there is one fly in the ointment, it’s that staying on the field and healthy has not been easy for Shields. He’s never made it through an entire 16 game season.

When he was on the field, he was effective, recording 245 tackles, 18 interception with an additional five when the Packers were in the postseason, and one forced fumble.

The Rams May be taking a gamble on Shields, but if they can keep him healthy, the upside is significant. Already, Los Angeles is at or near the top of NFL defenses and boasts the premier player on that side of the football in Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

Next: Rams: 4 potential picks in the 2018 NFL Draft

LA, who was thought to go heavy on defense in the 2018 NFL Draft has been aggressive despite the league year not yet open. That happens on March 14, but it hasn’t stopped Rams General Manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay from getting a jump start on cultivating talent for a team who is trending way up.

How this changes the game plan for the draft is still anybody’s guess, but they have given themselves a lot of options.