LA Rams front office gets a kickback, er kicker back

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams front office released Sam Sloman, promoted Kai Forbath, and re-signed Austin MacGinnis today

The LA Rams had to make a move with their kicker position. After all, the criteria for the team’s search simple and direct. The team needed three things. First, the team needed someone who could kick the ball into the end zone at kickoff. Secondly, the Rams needed someone who could kick field goals with accuracy.  Thirdly, the Rams needed a player who could kick field goals at a distance.

Unfortunately, the production of rookie kicker Sam Sloman was such that the Rams found none of their criteria satisfied. Sloman is a rookie, and sometimes it takes several seasons before they get into a rhythm. But 2020 with the LA Rams was a strong disappointment.  In fact, this career track is uncannily similar to that of former Detroit Lions rookie kicker Nate Freese.

Rams don’t take kickbacks but do bring a kicker back

In the end, the Rams could not continue with a 72.7 percent field goal kicker who was one of three beyond 40 yards. They could not continue with a kicker who was just 88 percent accurate on extra points. And they could not continue with a kicker who struggled to kick the ball into the end zone. So they released Sam Sloman today.

So that instantly promoted free agency signed kicker Kai Forbath. But the team was not finished and followed up that promotion by re-signing a familiar player, ex-CFL kicker Austin MacGinnis.

That’s a lot of action for a kicker position, but the LA Rams were pressured to go with Kai Forbath rather quickly. While I believe Forbath is the Rams’ answer, the team is wise enough to carry depth at the position for now until Forbath proves his worth.

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We have lobbied for action on special teams regularly since the season started.  After seven weeks, the Rams special teams are ranked 25th overall, 30th at FG/XP in the NFL by Football Outsiders. While the Rams will need time to improve their NFL ranking, the first step of switching kickers allows that ascent to begin. We’ll keep monitoring the situation to ensure the Rams are finally heading in the right direction.