LA Rams: How 49ers Warner deal may help Rams defensive strategy

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

On July 21st, 20201, the LA Rams watched as the San Francisco 49ers inked inside linebacker Fred Warner to a five-year extension worth over $95 million, making him the highest-paid inside linebacker among all the NFL (Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. That’s a huge chunk of cheddar to slip into one player’s pocket, and it will certainly reset the FMV (Fair Market Value) for inside linebackers going forward.

For comparison purposes, when the Las Vegas Raiders signed ex-Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton, that contract was three years and $36 million. I would say that the market for inside linebackers has just exploded.

Suddenly, teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers are sweating it out over the imminent contract negotiations with star ILB Devin Bush.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Other teams with any star inside linebackers who are still on rookie contracts are likely doing the same. It just so happens that the LA Rams finally invest a meaningful draft pick into the position. Doesn’t that place the Rams on the hook to ante up in four seasons?

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Ernest Jones, although a rookie, does possess some of the qualities crucial to succeeding in the LA Rams defense. He not only has solid talent but an uncharacteristic mature approach to the game, an almost reverent way of approaching the game with the same passion and physicality of yesterday’s greats. And if playing as a staring inside linebacker wasn’t enough motivation to get the best out of him? The San Francisco 49ers just plopped down $95 million more reasons.

Wow. Talk about incentivized now.

But even moreso, the LA Rams are looking at the expired contracts of four inside linebackers in 2022. The market price just doubled for each of them. While the Rams could offer to re-sign one of their veteran inside linebackers, the other three will now be more likely to cross the threshold and warrant inclusion in the compensatory pick formula for the awarding of 2023 NFL Draft picks.

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Ernest Jones will need to truly put on quite a show to get that type of contract offer, and even then it likely will not be the LA Rams offering the sack o’ cash. But it proves just what a bargain Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey’s contracts are. In fact, they are looking better and better all the time.