The Baltimore Ravens have declined to sign DT Michael Brockers due to a flagged medical exam. So the LA Rams took advantage and re-signed Brockers
The LA Rams have done very poorly in the 2020 NFL Free Agency market. So far, the team has watched players walk away and have had few players coming the other way. The greatest blows to the team have been sitting idly by while DT Michael Brockers, ILB Cory Littleton, and OLB Dante Fowler Jr. signed on to big NFL contracts with other teams.
Of course, things are done a little differently in the 2020 NFL Free Agency market. The teams are prohibited from meeting with players directly. Medical examinations must be done elsewhere, and the results must then be made available to the new team’s medical staff for review and endorsement.
At least that is how it is supposed to happen. But then a funny thing happened on the way to signing the new contract.
The Ravens will not be signing free agent DT Michael Brockers per sources.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) March 27, 2020
So what does this mean for Brockers? Essentially he remains a free agent, albeit one with a market with far less money or team’s shopping. As expected, the medical examination flagged Brockers due to a high ankle sprain suffered at the end of the 2019 season.
The Ravens announce they won’t sign Michael Brockers as a free agent after being unable to come to an agreement on terms of a contract. A high-ankle sprain from late in the season was flagged on a physical, and the two sides couldn’t agree on how the contract would be altered.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 27, 2020
We detailed the high ankle sprain in our injury recap. Since no surgery was required, the cure is simply resting the injury. The LA Rams have a clear advantage here, as the team’s medical staff have been heavily involved since the injury occurred.
Other teams interested in signing Brockers have no access to the team’s medical information and must rely upon new exams to generate a medical database and history sufficient to meet their sign/don’t sign determination.
Of course, this now places the Baltimore Ravens back into the market for a new defensive lineman. And it opens up the bidding from Brockers for other NFL teams. One of whom could be the LA Rams. But should the Rams give him a look at re-signing him?
Well, we know that he planned to sign a 3-year $30 million deal with Baltimore. So if the Rams could scrape together a 3-year $24 million deal, they may be able to get a home team discount with Brockers. And his return would allow the LA Rams to focus on edge and linebackers in the upcoming NFL Draft. It would also create a much stronger defensive line rotation for 2020, a key to the Vic Fangio style 3-4 that relies heavily upon strong fresh defensive linemen upfront.
And just like that, he is back! And his teammate DT Aaron Donald is ecstatic.
— AD_99 (@AaronDonald97) March 27, 2020
This may be the first sign of some great things to come. The LA Rams defensive line is now very much improved over the 2019 version.
After all this, the #Rams end up with their homegrown talent and Michael Brockers ends up with a nice deal. Per source, he’s getting a three-year deal worth up to $31.5M maximum value — similar to what Baltimore had on the table. And LA gets more firepower up front on D.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 27, 2020
That’s more than I had expected, but it does keep DT Aaron Donald‘s teammate on the Rams.
Keep in mind that Michael Brockers and his wife Faith took the time to thank the fans of the LA Rams before free agency ever started. That seemed like a farewell for sure when he posted it. But it was enough to endear the LA Rams front office to bring him back.
How will the LA Rams pay for this? Well, the only options are to restructure, renegotiate, or trade players. I suspect this warrants pushing QB Jared Goff to restructure his deal and free up over $20 million. The LA Rams finally did a move I’m very excited about. The defensive line is the best it’s been in a while. In fact, with Brockers back in the rotation, the defensive line now boasts Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, A’Shawn Robinson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Greg Gaines.
The outlook for the Rams defense just became rosy once more.