LA Rams shop CB in FA/draft despite tendering Williams
The LA Rams may have extended a first-round qualifying tender offer to DB Darious Williams, but that merely keeps him (hopefully) in a Rams uniform for one more year. And if you check out the other cornerbacks not named Jalen Ramsey, the team is actually pretty light at this position.
And now, the team is poised to lose CB Troy Hill to free agency as well, as his market value is pegged at $6.3 million annually, per Sportrac.
So it’s no wonder that the Rams have been eyeballing cornerbacks in pre-draft meetings, revealing their need (and interest) in defensive backs as well, players who can play cornerback and possibly fill in at safety, or vice versa. The Rams have been named as having met with cornerbacks projected at virtually every round of the 2021 NFL Draft in recent weeks.
Rams shopping for young cornerbacks
They have already been reported as having met with both UCF’s underrated CB Tay Gowan and SDSU’s CB Darren Hall. While neither is expected to be drafted sooner than day No. 3, both offer intriguing qualities.
Now, the Rams are linked to a blue-chip cornerback with a very recognizable name, Florida State’s wunderkind Asante Samuel Jr.
There’s a mountain of pre-draft interest in Samuel from many NFL teams and the Rams are but one among many it seems.
Rams veteran solutions
The Rams will return former Michigan defensive back, David Long. He is a potential replacement who’s already on the Rams roster, but he hasn’t exactly established himself as a starter thus far. At the time of the draft, he was projected as an NFL slot corner.
Atlanta Falcons DB Damontae Kazee, who is coming off a torn Achille’s tendon in 2020, is someone the Rams might consider in free agency, given he has an incentive to prove to the league he’s fully healed and could possibly be available at a bargain price. Kazee can play both safety and cornerback.
Similarly, Tennessee Titans DB Desmond King is a versatile secondary player who can play both safety and the nickel role in the slot. King might fetch too high of a price for the Rams checkbook, however, as he is expected to have a market value of $6.8 million, per Sportrac.
Two straight-up cornerbacks to consider in the FA market are CB Brian Poole of the New York Jets, who could be signed for $4.3 million per year, or six-year veteran CB Justin Coleman of the Detroit Lions.
It is good to have secondary depth and the Rams have gaps to fill.