LA Rams GM Les Snead must pray for miraculous turnarounds on top-paid players or bite the bullet on bad contracts in 2020.
The LA Rams face some tough choices as the team approaches the 2020 Free Agency market. Tough choices of the team’s own doing. Since trading for quarterback Jared Goff in 2016, the Rams have not picked in round one of the NFL Draft, and will not have the option of doing so until 2022. Six years without a Day one selection is a tough path to walk as an NFL organization.
In 2016, the Rams had to trade up for quarterback Jared Goff, so the team traded two firsts, two seconds, and two third-round picks to the Tenessee Titans to do so. In 2018, the Rams had to have wide receiver Brandin Cooks, so the team traded their 2018 first and sixth-round picks to the New England Patriots for him. In 2019, the team had to have cornerback Jalen Ramsey, so they traded two first-round picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The impact of three successive huge trades has excluded the Rams from day one of the NFL Draft for five of six past years. The LA Rams had a first-round pick in 2019, but traded back twice.
Once the players arrived, the Rams doubled down on their acquisitions by making them rich beyond their production. QB Jared Goff is paid like an elite NFL quarterback, yet does not produce like one yet. WR Brandin Cooks is paid like an elite NFL wide receiver, yet has not produced like one for the Rams. Even the once sure-footed running back Todd Gurley was signed to an extension with so much guaranteed money that he is paid like one of the top NFL running backs, but he no longer produces like one.
Through trading away NFL Draft picks and handing out copious amounts of money, the Rams have committed themselves to players who are simply not playing up to the level of their compensation. That’s not just bad news for the team, but also for the players who DO deserve to be paid for the impressive production for the LA Rams, but who will not as the Rams simply haven’t the available funds to do so.