LA Rams: Will there or won’t there be competition for starting punter?
Saving dollars with some change
As with every competition on an NFL roster, the criteria involve production on the football field, as well as the strain on the pursestrings. In any contrast and comparison, that ‘how much will he cost” component is always part of the roster build. The key to success at the NFL GM level, therefore, is to fit the best cohesive roster under the annual NFL salary cap.
Paying too much for a player can be as fatal as not obtaining enough talent. And so, the financial impact of Johnny Hekker’s contract became a talking point for the ‘compete at every position’ 2021 Rams. Behold, there were substantial savings to the team if the Rams found reason to promote another punter to the starting role.
Why would the Rams even consider starting any punter in the NFL? Well, Corey Bojorquez is not just any ole punter. He was the best punter in the NFL in 2020. For comparison purposes, Johnny Hekker was ranked 21st among NFL punters in 2020. That is significant because the 5.2 yards improvement in gross yards was nearly matched by 4.3 yards in net yardage. If you factor that in on the number of punts over the course of a season, and suddenly the Rams added nearly 300 additional yards that opposing offenses needed to claim on the football field.
Better production for a cheaper cost? That is often enough incentive to push an NFL team to move quickly. But this is Johnny Hekker after all, right? He is still deserving of some patience. After all, he is the last holdout to ST coordinator John Fassel’s regime with the Rams.