Have the LA Rams decided to get younger in 2020?

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Les Snead
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Les Snead /

The LA Rams are in the process of reshaping the team’s roster. But is the result of tight funds and free agency leading the team to a 2020 youth movement?

The LA Rams coaching staff switched this offseason. The team said farewell to two solid veteran coordinators in Wade Phillips and John Fassell and welcomed new coordinators Kevin O’Connell, Brandon Staley, and John Bonamego. In the process, the Rams have embraced a youth movement among the coaching staff.

Now that same attention towards getting younger is aimed upon the team roster.  Of course, it is not a conscious decision by the team to do so. But there are many factors at play right now, all of which is steering the team to youth.

The LA Rams are in a bit of a tight spot financially. That means the team cannot afford to pay for NFL experience. NFL veteran offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Free Agency, whether starters or backups, were looking at a market value of $10 million/year.  That is out of the Rams price range right now. But young players signing on with an NFL team for their first contract come at a much more affordable price.

Another factor is health. The LA Rams have struggled with team injuries in 2019. While football is a violent sport, which can cause injuries on veteran and rookie alike, the team had found itself with players on the roster facing significant wear and tear. So the team moved to divest from players with health questions.

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Finally, the team has retained the same coaching staff for the most part. But the team has three new coordinators. Of particular note is the Rams defense, where the team will stick with a 3-4 defensive framework but will emphasize speed and versatility in the defensive roles. That has persuaded the team to move towards opening their roster towards the 2020 NFL Draft, where the team will add faster more versatile players.

The Rams are shopping in the 2020 NFL Draft for offensive tackles, centers, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, edge rushers, linebackers, defensive linemen, and cornerbacks. While not all nine positions can be filled with just seven picks, the Rams will have pulled the team’s average player age younger in the process.

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The Rams did not set out to “get younger” in 2020, but that may very well be the result of this off-season. Teams get older each year. It’s the actions of the team’s front office that push the roster younger each year.  It appears as though the Rams will succeed this year.