Should LA Rams earmark John Daka as “Return to sender”?

Mandatory Credit: Ud At Jmu
Mandatory Credit: Ud At Jmu /

The LA Rams may be struggling to keep all their talent at outside linebacker. Ironically, one of the teams who had waived a current LA Rams player is now back in the market for one such player. You see, the Rams claimed outside linebacker off the New York Jets waiver wire, and now, due to a season-ending injury to star edge rusher, Carl Lawson, they are back in the market for an outside linebacker.

Now the question is, did the Jets waive Daka due to balancing their training camp roster? Or was the move due to the belief that Daka’s ceiling is much lower than they expected? If the Jets liked Daka, this could create some leverage for the Rams to clear a roster spot and perhaps pick up a late draft pick at the same time.

Of course, the first question is: How deep are the Rams at the outside linebacker position? Well, the team has Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Terrell Lewis (when healthy), Justin Lawler, and Chris Garrett. If the team carries four on the roster, and one on the practice squad, the Rams will still be one-two player heavy on the roster.

Rams Roster

Per the Jet Press contributor Justin Fried, Daka’s release was due to strong depth at defensive lineman. In the Jets’ defense, Daka filled a defensive end roster spot. The Jets have veteran Vinny Curry scheduled to return for the season. So the fact that the team is dropping a line out there for an edge rusher (a position that has been scooped up rather quickly in the past two NFL Free Agent markets0 suggests that they are not looking for a top name, but rather a stop-gap player.

Daka could fill that spot nicely, particularly since he knows the Jets’ defensive scheme. Of course, the Jets may want to talk trade for another player. If so, the only player worth trading at this time is, wait for it, Terrell Lewis.  While Lewis is struggling with a questionable knee, he is a known performer who can get to the quarterback when he is on the football field.

In return, any 2022 draft pick for Daka should be enough to make a trade happen. For Lewis, the Rams should hold firm on a third-round draft pick. Lewis’ injury history was already factored into his draft position, and he has since proven the capability to play well at the NFL level.

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Of course, the Jets may wish to let it ride. After all, with roster cuts coming, their front office may want to just submit a claim for a player after other teams prune down to the 53-man roster. But they may want to have a better say in who they land, and the LA Rams appear to be an ideal team to talk to about edge talent.