7 times the LA Rams may have been shortchanged in 2021 roster moves
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams have been a team known for wheelin’ and dealing, and quite often the team has been as nimble and agile among their roster moves as a cat, jumping from one transaction to the other, always landing on their feet. But that patterns appear to have shifted a bit this year.
Shifted, but not blown up, evaporated, or evaporated. There are still events to take place, future draft picks that must be used to select new prospects for the team. So the urge to instantly form a definitive opinion is not what we’re after here.
Rather, this is simply a review of a host of personnel decisions that occurred in 2021, decisions that ultimately move players off or onto the team roster. Of course, these roster transactions may have been necessitated by the team’s financial resources, or simply by vacancies on the roster that needed to be filled.
What we have noticed though this season is a stream of moves that seem to be contented to deplete the current roster for rather low-value future draft picks, or to use higher valued draft picks to add players to the roster for a one-year rental, and then not make full use of that player in the rotation. What do we mean? Well, let’s jump right into the analysis so that you can see what we mean?
Roster move VII
When the LA Rams outright cut WR DeSean Jackson, many fans applauded the move. I was a bit sick to my stomach. After all, the team had just signed the veteran wide receiver to a specific role, and the two sides negotiated a contract that was highly incentivized for Jackson to be compensated for his production and playing time.
The problem? The Rams simply did not play him to the level that he expected. When he talked to head coach Sean McVay about more playing time, the team put him on the trade block and eventually cut him. To be fair and objective, the guy only saw action on 100 offensive snaps and was targetted just 15 times, catching eight of those passes for 221 yards and one touchdown. He played in seven games. He was with the team for eight games. When he was released, the LA Rams were 7-1. See where we are going with this?
This may be a very unpopular opinion, but the events that followed prove just how unwise the decision to cut Jackson truly has been. The Rams had a veteran receiver who delivered 221 yards on 15 targets over seven games. Since then, the Rams have signed veteran Odell Beckham Jr, and he has already gotten 76 offensive snaps. So far, OBJ has been targetted 13 times, caught 7 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown. Jackson is/was the more productive receiver. His flaw? He wanted to be used more often in this offense.
Since he’s been released, the LA Rams have been reeling amidst a three-game losing streak. No, I’m not drawing a direct cause-and-effect correlation. But I do question the wisdom of cutting a receiver who was signed specifically to stretch the field and did so. Is that how the team resolves players’ concerns? Is the GTFOH truly believed to be the best approach?
If nothing else, look at the results. Okay, not convinced? Here’s another: