Uncomfortable Truths Department: The LA Rams dealt long-time stalwart defensive lineman Michael Brockers to the Detroit Lions for a 2023 seventh-round draft pick. Question du jour: Which is greater – a 2023 seventh-round draft pick or a packet of ketchup?
Let’s call it what it was. Brockers was an LA Rams salary dump. The guy who was the poster child of salary cap casualty for the 2021 NFL season. Somewhere, somehow, his dollars got sucked up in the great salary vacuum in the sky. Somewhere between trading Brandin Cooks, Jared Goff, or cutting Clay Matthews or Todd Gurley, his dollars were ripped out of his pocket and flung to the cosmos. Tough break, kid.
He was, after all, coming off one of the best seasons of his lengthy NFL career. The Brandon Staley version of a 3-4 defense meant more rapid rotations. The key to that defense is to have incredibly strong yet fresh defensive linemen who shade the gap one way to defeat running plays, but who will drive back into an offensive lineman to handle and defeat blocking on passing plays.
He was, is, and will always be a team player. Make no mistake about that. He accepted fewer defensive snaps, and yet had five quarterback sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and 51 tackles. He stepped up even as he was ever so slightly phased out to allow the younger guys to have more defensive snaps. So he did what he could, and had a far more effective year. His reward? He was given no option. Take a pay cut, or we’ll show you the door.
The breaking point wasn’t the fact that the Rams wanted to restructure Brockers’ contract. He is a seasoned veteran and he knows the score.
That was rather, well, ignominious of them. Just ‘bidness.