The LA Rams have grown a number of quality players on their team, watched them rise through the ranks of a bench player, through special teams, to a rotational role player. Sometimes, that path even led to the role of NFL Starter. But perhaps one of my favorite players to rise through the ranks and out the door via NFL Free Agency is that of DE Morgan Fox.
He was signed to the LA Rams as an undrafted free agent rookie after the 2016 NFL Draft out of Colorado State-Pueblo. Even as a rookie in 2016, he found his way onto the football field as both a special team standout as well as a rotational pass rusher. Each season, his role with the LA Rams defense grew a little bit more.
By the time he was in the final year of his contract for the Rams, he was playing nearly 40 percent of the defensive snaps, made 27 tackles and six quarterback sacks, and very much appeared to be on his way as a standout starter. He signed on with the Carolina Panthers on a two-year and $8.1 million contract in 2021. One year later? The Panther cut him.
Fox started nine games for the Panthers but ended up with 34 tackles and just 1.5 quarterback sacks.
Fox is a right signing for the 2022 Rams Free Agency plan
The Panthers needed a starter and were willing to pay Fox to see if Morgan Fox was the right guy. Unfortunately, that relationship did not work out, and now Fox finds himself in the NFL Free Agency market. Such is the fate of former LA Rams players this year, it seems.
But it doesn’t need to end here. Morgan Fox is an ideal free agent to bring back to the LA Rams for the 2022 NFL season. For starters, he is a proven producer in the LA Rams defense. Six quarterback sacks from a rotational player are quite good, and the Rams can expect him to get just as many if they sign him for 2022.
Fox knows the Rams system and most (but not all) of the current players. That is a huge advantage to any signing at this time of the year. What it means is that the Rams can expect Fox to deliver the goods in 2022, and be versatile enough to slide into the rotation at almost any down-and-distance situation. With the addition of Fox, the Rams can redirect A’Shawn Robinson to rotate through nose tackle, giving the team that much more of an arsenal on the defensive front.
Because he was cut after just one season, he should fall on the lower end of the pay scale. And his release means that if the LA Rams sign him, he will not tamper with any potential for compensatory pick awards down the line. But, in my humble opinion, Fox is more aligned with his 2020 performance on the Rams roster than his 2021 performance for the Panthers.
Defensive linemen are not plentiful in the rookie class of 2022. Fox would be an ideal addition, even if just on a one-year deal because he flourishes in the Rams scheme. And the Rams should be able to negotiate a rather team-friendly deal based on current circumstances. Win-Win? Try Win (for Fox), Win (for the Rams), and Win (another NFL Championship).