Priority IV – Linebacker
Whether or not the LA Rams successfully re-sign projected free agent linebacker Cory Littleton, the team will need depth behind him and beside him. Meanwhile, the departure of defensive coordinator introduces a chance of the Rams converting to a 4-3 defense. Does that take the pressure off or simply add more pressue to reconfiguring the defense?
Well, linebacker Cory Littleton is ready to test the waters of free agency this year. It’s a good time to do that if you are Littleton, as he just put up some incredible numbers the past year on a one-year “prove it” deal. But the question is whether Littleton is that good, or anyone playing behind All-Pro defensive tackle can put up great numbers? That’s the question Rams staff are answering right now. Littleton’s street value this year is somewhere in the $12-14M/year range. That is presuming a team doesn’t go crazy.
But does it make more sense for the Rams to use that same money to sign a pair or Tier II free agents in the $5-6M range, adding depth and perhaps testing the “anyone looks good behind Donald” theory? By the same token, the team is looking at a $14-18M/year range to re-sign Dante Fowler Jr.
Free Agency plays a huge role in many ways for the Rams this off-season. Meanwhile, this 2020 NFL Draft is incredibly deep at the linebacker position. So as long as the Rams can be patient with talent growing into starting roles. After all, for each marquis free agent not signed, the Rams can use that money to attract players eager to earn a big payday.