As of March 23 at 6:00 am PT, the LA Rams could sign XFL players onto their depth-needy roster. Only they didn’t do so. Will they ever do so?
The LA Rams are not too busy to ignore the chance to sign bargains. The evidence suggests that the team is simply that cash-poor. While that may not be a permanent situation, it is alarming enough when the team cannot sign players who would improve the roster for 2020.
Why do I believe that XFL players would improve the LA Rams roster? Simply stated, I’m observing where the smarter NFL teams are gambling with their roster spots. Out of the 12 XFL players signed so far:
Four signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers
One signed by Carolina Panthers
One signed by New Orleans Saints
One signed by Minnesota Vikings
One signed by New York Giants
One signed by Kansas City Chiefs
One signed by Los Angeles Chargers
One signed by Atlanta Falcons
One signed by Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Rams Fans have a right to be disappointed right now. We highlighted 13 XFL players who deserved a phone call from the Rams. Do date, we have no confirmation that the team contacted anyone.
— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) March 26, 2020
From our original list of 13 players, QB P.J. Walker (Panthers), DT Cavon Walker (Steelers), and CB Deatrick Nichols (Saints) have been signed. That means at least 10 XFL players remain available to sign at UDFA prices.
The XFL also has offensive linemen, kickers, and punters which we did not include in our original list. Two tight ends were signed already, due to the perception that the 2020 NFL Draft class is short of NFL caliber players.
The LA Rams need help on their roster. The team lost eight players as unrestricted free agents, one to retirement, three to failure to extend a qualifying tender offer, and one to failure to pick up the team option contract year. 13 of 52 players is 25 percent or one-fourth of the 53-man roster. So far, the team has countered by signing two players to the defense.
The LA Rams have six picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. That means, for all intents and purposes, that the team will need to find seven players who can earn a spot on the 2020 55-man roster from the ranks of undrafted free agents, plus at least an equal number of players to retain on the practice squad.
That seems… optimistic. Until the Rams make their next move, the anxiety among their fans will continue to build. NFL players can be signed to one-year deals for less than $1 million right now. That should be affordable for even the LA Rams. But so far, it’s not.