LA Rams ex-ILB Bryce Hager reportedly joins Littleton with Raiders

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Former LA Rams ILB Bryce Hager reportedly joins Cory Littleton by signing with the Las Vegas Raisers

The LA Rams former players are quickly becoming popular. NFL rumors are currently linking former Rams OLB Clay Matthews to the Seattle Seahawks. But Matthews is not the only former Rams linebacker to make NFL news on August 6, 2020.  Another former Rams linebacker, this time Bryce Hager, is also in the news. But this is not a rumor.  Hager is reportedly signing one with the Las Vegas Raiders.

He will join former teammate Cory Littleton. Hager and Littleton started five games for the Rams in 2019, until Hager was injured and he sat out the rest of the season.  His contract expired at the end of the 2019 season, and the Rams did not re-sign him.

Hager free agency mystified many

Not everyone was on the “re-sign Hager” bandwagon, we were. Whether or not he would have earned a starting role or even a roster spot this season is not important. The key point is that he was one of the few linebackers to have some experience for the team.  And despite that experience, he was likely a very economically priced player. We had three reasons why the Rams needed to re-sign him, and those points are still relevant.

If you were happy to see him go, good for you. But the Rams have very little experience on the roster right now. Even without playing, he would be a solid teammate to younger players. And that decision to go wholesale youth movement with the linebacking corps may be a decision that the team regrets this year.

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Slow growth

Hager was selected by the LA Rams in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft with their 224th pick. For four seasons, he was primarily a special teams player, playing in no less than 62 percent of the special team’s snaps.  But in 2019, his role changed.  ILB Micah Kiser, the projected starter, fell to injury just before the season started, and was lost for the season. So in his place, the Rams started Hager, who earned a respectable 64.7 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2019.

Hager himself became injured just five games into the season and was placed on the team’s injured reserve list. He never returned to the active roster. In signing on with the Raiders, Hager bolsters both the depth at linebacker and boosts production on special teams.  This is another shrewd signing by Mayock, who gets the risks inherent with playing football in the current environment and is selectively adding depth players who can spot start for a couple of weeks if needed.

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Hopefully, the Rams will not regret making little effort to retain Hager.  He is a nice, and economical, insurance policy in a high-risk football season.