Dante Fowler Jr. hopes to eventually be part of the long-term plans for the Los Angeles Rams on defense.
During the offseason, the Los Angeles Rams faced plenty of difficult decisions in regards to key players returning for the 2019 season, and right near the top of that list was Dante Fowler Jr. at linebacker.
Around this time last summer, linebacker was one of the positions in which the Rams had some uncertainty in, but thanks to acquiring Fowler along with Cory Littleton putting together a surprise Pro Bowl season, Los Angeles ended up better than expected.
While the Rams made an easy choice in using the tender on Littleton, the situation with Fowler was a bit more complicated since the team faced the difficult decision in trying to determine whether he would be worth a long-term deal.
Leading up to the trade deadline last year, Los Angeles knew they had nothing to lose in acquiring the former first-round pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars since Fowler seemed like a player who just needed a fresh start on a new team.
Fowler’s numbers with the Rams (two sacks in eight regular season games) may not have stood out like some of the other players across the league, but also the argument can be made that his numbers would have been better if he wasn’t playing catch up.
Coming over to a new team in the middle of a season sometimes puts a player at a disadvantage, and one of the main reasons why a one-year, $12 million deal for Fowler from the Rams seemed to be perfect for both parties.
Instead of having to commit for the long run, Los Angeles could give Fowler a “prove-it” deal to see how he looked after a full year of working with the team, and potentially reward him with a long-term contract later on.
With that being said, the folks at Bleacher Report recently put together a list of every team’s biggest offseason regret, and in what came as a bit of a surprise, the decision to bring back Fowler was the result for the Rams.
From the perspective of being in need of an effective pass-rusher, Bleacher Report made the solid point that it was easy to understand this decision by Los Angeles to sign Fowler, but also they believe Rodger Saffold should have been more of a priority.
As Rams fans remember, it seemed pretty clear that Saffold’s time with the team had most likely come to an end following the Super Bowl in February since the veteran’s asking price seemed like it was going to be too high in free agency.
Seeing how Saffold would eventually go on to sign with the Tennessee Titans on a four-year, $44 million deal, it seems that Los Angeles was right on the money in knowing he would be too expensive to bring back.
Nothing against Saffold since nothing can take away from how much of a help he was over the years in helping turn the previously horrendous offensive line around, but Fowler coming at a cheaper price along with potential makes it seem like the Rams made the right choice.
Then again, if Fowler does end up disappointing in 2019, and Los Angeles eventually decides to move on next offseason, well maybe this will fall into the category of regretful decisions.
But since there’s no reason to think with that sort of mindset, here’s to hoping the Rams end up being right about Fowler, and it all works out for the best moving forward.