How well did LA Rams do in the 2020 NFL Free Agency?

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams 2020 NFL Free Agency
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Familiar Faces

As the Rams approached NFL Free Agency in 2020, there were hopes of signing veterans who were critical in the team’s success.  But the team was short of sufficient funds to make sweeping contract offers to the crop of expired crop veterans. The team has already committed significant portions of the salary cap towards retaining key players.

The difficulty was that all offensive players who were signed to lucrative contracts regressed.  Not just slightly, but dramatic drops in production that crippled the team’s hopes of post season play in 2019.  So there was not much money remaining to ‘go around’ to re-sign players. Meanwhile, a number of offensive linemen suffered season ending injury.

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Getting the band back together

So it made sense to re-sign the team’s offensive linemen. They knew the Rams offense, and they would have depressed market value due to injury and poor performance in 2019. The Rams primary target was veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth.  The team then rounded out the roster with blocking tight end Johnny Mundt and reserve offensive lineman Coleman Shelton. Finally, the Rams signed veteran interior offensive lineman Austin Blythe for a one-year deal.

Of course, the ‘deals’ to re-sign the veterans were for team-friendly deals. The Rams committed too many dollars elsewhere, which meant that their offensive line which was the trademark of the 2018 Rams offense would now be one of the least compensated units in the NFL.  But they did end 2019 as the 31st-ranked offensive line in the NFL.