7 players that make complete sense for LA Rams to extend quickly
Two must-extend players
If you’ve stuck around this long in the article, you deserve a bit of a treat. Hopefully, you will think it’s all be worth it, as we’ve saved our most crucial re-signings for this free agency market for last. Well, at least in terms of the most obvious and inexpensive free agents to extend. Our first must-extend player is back-up offensive lineman Coleman Shelton.
I won’t try to fool anyone, I’ve loved Coleman Shelton’s potential since he played for the Washington Huskies. He has always been the smaller, leaner, more athletic version of offensive center, along the lines of Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Kelce. Before 2021, all I had was minimal evidence to support that opinion. But the Rams afforded Shelton the chance to start in several games this past season, and in those games, RB Sony Michel went nuts on opposing defenses.
When the LA Rams faced one of the best pass pressure defenses in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings, the team had Shelton as their offensive center and A.J. Jackson at left tackle. In that game, the Rams did not surrender a single quarterback sack, and Michel rushed 27 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. The Rams won that game by a touchdown, by the score of 30-23. Even if just for a one-year deal, it makes far more sense for the Rams to give Shelton a one-year right of first refusal tender offer at $2.4 million than to bring in a new, untested player.
Just for kicks
While there is plenty of chatter and praise to toss around the entire LA Rams locker room and up and down the roster, I asset that without placekicker Matt Gay, the Rams were very much at risk of falling short. The guy was one of the most accurate, as well as most powerful, placekickers in the NFL in the 2021 NFL season. In fact, Gay was so respectable that he won the NFC Pro Bowl nomination for the 2021 season.
For accuracy, Gay kicked 48 of 49 extra points for the Rams and kicked 32 of 34 field goals for the Rams in the 2021 NFL season. There was almost no drop-off in the playoffs, as he kicked 11 of 11 extra points and eight of ten field goals for the Rams in the postseason. Oh, and just as a reminder, the LA Rams won their final three postseason games by a score of three points in each game respectively.
The Rams enjoyed a very inexpensive deal on the relatively unknown Gay in 2021, but that will not be the case if the team intends to extend him. Hopefully, the team can sign him to a three or four-year deal for $3 million per season. The Rams have enjoyed their tremendous success since adding Gay to special teams. Now, the front office must walk that fine line to extending Gay without over-committing precious salary cap space to do so.