8 LA Rams players who won’t be back in 2022

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Donte Deayon
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Player 7 – Turning the corner

When the LA Rams finally promoted defensive back Donte Deayon to the team’s 53-man roster, the performance of the secondary seemed to benefit from a surge of better play. Similar to Darious Williams, Deayon is a smaller defensive back who compensates for a lack of physicality with excellent athleticism.

In his three NFL seasons, he has allowed 28 completions on 50 targets or a 56 percent completion rate. He has allowed 13.67 yards per completion and just 7.7 yards per target. It all began when he was elevated in Week 6 to face his former team, the New York Giants. He played so well in that game that the LA Rams signed him to the 53-man roster immediately.

Okay, so what is the problem?

Big payday may require some travel

The LA Rams have been making a lot of roster moves throughout the 2021 season, primarily in the area of defensive backs. While part of the activity is attributable to injuries and COVID-19 protocols, the team has a number of prospects to consider in 2022. Right now, Donte Deayon becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and would no doubt like to be paid handsomely to play football next season.

If the LA Rams can sign Deayon to a team-friendly contract, I suspect that he could be back. But Deayon has been in the NFL, is hitting his prime, and likely wants to cash in on a meaningful multi-year deal. For the LA Rams, I just don’t see that as financially feasible for the moment.

There will always be teams shopping for defensive backs with NFL starting experience, and one or more of those teams will take a flyer on Deayon for the 2022 season. He may even land a contract whose value could enter into the algorithm to calculate a potential compensatory pick award for the LA Rams in 2023. But if he does not have an affordable price, he will be playing elsewhere.