Did COVID-19 force LA Rams to forge a championship caliber team?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams front office has been kept rather busy this year. Before the season started, the LA Rams made headlines by packaging their starting quarter and three draft picks to the Detroit Lions for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.  Stafford had requested a trade, wanted to play for the Rams and the package that the Lions got met the asking price.

At the NFL Trade Deadline, the LA Rams once more made news headlines across the nation. Out of the blue, the team traded two 2022 NFL Draft picks to the Denver Broncos for veteran outside linebacker Von Miller. Miller is playing in the last year of his career, was nursing a nagging ankle injury, and the Broncos felt like this was the right time, and the right compensation.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is playing in his eighth NFL season and has yet to know the thrill of NFL success to the point he seeks. In 2016, he helped the New York Giants to an 11-5 record, but they were immediately bumped out of the playoffs by the Green Bay Packers.  In 2020, he helped the Cleveland Browns to an 11-5 record. After beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Browns were themselves defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Rams roster adds a WR

This year, after struggling to be used in the Browns’ offense, he made his frustrations with the team and his quarterback known.  While the Browns had paid a pretty price for OBJ, he was released with no compensation The LA Rams signed OBJ to play through the 2021 NFL Season.

Three different scenarios, three different chain-of-events. But all led to the same outcome. Three players who are recognizably NFL household names moved from their former teams to the LA Rams roster. When the 2020 NFL season ended, the Rams had the feel of a team knocking on the door to something special.

More. LA Rams: 15 best free-agent acquisitions of all-time. light

But adding new players, who are used to different coaches, different playbooks, and different teammates is quite the undertaking to attempt to onboard everyone mid-season. And yet, that was just the tip of the iceberg.