Predictions for LA Rams 8 top free agents this year

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Free Agency
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Free Agent I – Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd

Background – The LA Rams have done a great job of signing undervalued outside linebackers to a short-term deal, and then some. After losing outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. to free agency in 2020, the Rams signed his replacement, Leonard Floyd, to a one-year deal. Now Floyd wants paid to play.

Strengths – Floyd is the type of player who is so good at everything, that he would be a wise choice to build around. While he may need to play in the right scheme to unlock his full potential, he plays hard and makes the right choices on each and every play. He shows up each and every day, and for each and every play. It’s really tough not to love this guy on the team.

In fact, he’s so good that he brings additional value to mentoring younger players. The Rams certainly flourished as he single-handedly held down the fort while younger edge players rapidly improved to shoulder the burden.

Weaknesses – Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd was a middle-of-the-road performer for the Chicago Bears before showing up for the LA Rams in such a huge way in 2020.  He was signed to help install Brandon Staley’s defense in Los Angeles and to help the transition along the way.  But can he accomplish similar production without lining up next to Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey? One team is about to find out.

Estimated market value – Floyd has earned a big payday, let’s not put any question to that. He’s good at everything required of an edge rusher.  Bidding for Floyd’s services will start in the $12-13 million per year neighborhood, but it could get pricier if multiple teams bid for his services.

Estimated team action – Another Tag-and-Trade candidate? Don’t hold your breath. He’s off to a new team and an incredibly large paycheck.  The Rams could get him on a bargain one-year deal if he wants to hold out for a bigger payday in 2022, but the odds of that are less than one percent.

Most likely team to sign him – The LA Chargers are the obvious choice here. Staley could simply repeat the same process used for the Rams with the Chargers and hope for similar results. But the Lions, Packers, and Seahawks would love to sign him as well. Don’t ignore the obvious fit with either the Denver Broncos or Chicago Bears defenses either.

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Eight free agents.  Will the Rams bring any of these top-shelf players back for another year? Perhaps. But it’s obvious that there will be plenty of interest in them, and that does not bode well for any plans that hinge upon getting any of these players ‘for cheap’.  That won’t happen.