Morgan Fox’s return is huge for LA Rams

(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

LA Rams re-signing DE Morgan Fox will pay handsomely in 2020

The LA Rams had a few financial concerns at the end of the 2019 season, and those concerns played a significant role in terms of who the team was willing and able to bring back on new contracts this off-season. No doubt the team had regrets when they were unable to offer a qualifying tender offer to retain the rights to defensive end Morgan Fox.  That situation was remedied.

And wisely so.  After all, the Rams list of solid pass rushers shrank considerably this off-season with the departure of OLB Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Matthews. While Fox was not quite at the point of delivering eight to ten quarterback sacks in a single season, he is certainly one of the young promising players on the roster, and could very likely have a breakout season in 2020.

Fox seizes his opportunities

The best element of the return of Fox is the addition of a player who generated impressive pressure from the edge. And all the while, he was learning from Matthews, Fowler, All-Pro DT Aaron Donald, and other veterans of the game. He is a young man who has played for the Rams for four seasons but lost the entirety of 2018 when he suffered a season-ending injury just before the start of the 2018 season.

Read. LA Rams News: Team re-signs DE Morgan Fox, releases DT Tanzel Smart. light

With the exception of 2018, he has remained an active member of the Rams defensive rotation. At 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, he possesses plenty of body mass and muscle to take on even the heartiest offensive tackles. With his share of just 30 percent of the defensive snaps, he’s remained fresh enough to create problems at the line of scrimmage as opposing players begin to wear down. And with a couple of sacks in his past two seasons, 2020 could bring those numbers up to five sacks and 30 tackles, which are very solid numbers for a 3-4 defensive end.

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Versatile enough for Brandon Staley

We’ve harped about the versatility factor of many player additions for some time, and in the initial inspection, Fox seems to fail in that regard. After all, he tends to be a bit of a pass rush specialist, launching himself to the quarterback like a heat seeker missile.  What versatility can he offer Staley’s defense? Well, actually, he does have a bit of deception to him.

While Fox has the size and power to play defensive end, he’s always possessed a “whatever it takes” attitude to contribute to his team. With the Rams, he’s been slotted as a defensive pass-rush specialist, but he is a solid tackler who simply fills whatever role the Rams have assigned to him.  With the new scheme, he could slide into any defensive lineman role, as well as flex into a stand-up player who could offer some limited pass coverages.

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In 2020, the Rams defense will not be patterned as it had in the past. That unlocks new roles for players like defensive end Morgan Fox, who have not yet been showcased to his fullest potential. Will he reach that potential in 2020? That’s a tough call because the Rams have invested heavily to ensure the defensive line is up to the challenge in 2020. Thankfully, Morgan Fox was one such player re-signed for 2020. Particularly in the face of an uncertain financial future, he is a player who will produce solid production at a remarkably affordable price.