LA Rams: 3 available free agents to contribute immediately

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Even after re-signing starting cornerback Darious Williams, the LA Rams depth at the cornerback position is not that encouraging. While there are still some premiere cornerbacks available, the supply of solid players with good upside for an NFL secondary is dwindling.

The LA Rams are already in the market for cornerback help. So consider this one of our good deeds for today. We have some suggestions. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steven Nelson or New York Jets’ Brian Poole. Reports had linked the Rams to Tennessee Titan’s cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who has since signed a substantial three-year $39 million deal to play for the New York Giants.

That won’t be the case for either Nelson or Poole, who are both still available in the free-agent market.

Nelson is coming off a three-year $25 million deal to play for the Steelers. Poole is coming off earning just under $5 million playing for the Jets in 2020. Either should be signable on a one-year deal below $5 million. Why a one-year deal? The Rams will be forced to reinforce the roster on talented defensive backs signed after the 2021 NFL Draft, and they will need a year to coach-up to the NFL level.

Both Poole and Nelson touted two interceptions in 2020. Poole is 5-foot-9 and weighs 213 pounds, while Nelson is 5-foot-11 and weighs 194-pounds. Both players are starting-caliber players. But the Rams should engage both in negotiations to play, and then agree to sign the one who agrees to the team-friendlier version.

The Rams are going to need to be very strategic about building their 2021 NFL roster. The team cannot simply draft their way back to the playoffs, particularly with just six picks. The Rams will need to sign several modestly priced roster plugs, draft to compete at the most vulnerable positions, sign undrafted free agents for depth and for the 2022 projected roster holes, and work hard to promote existing players into more significant roles.

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Sounds complicated?  It shouldn’t. It’s the same game plan that the Rams organization has deployed in each offseason.