The LA Rams are not one to take their foot off the gas. Even as the dust was settling over the unsuccessful attempt to land veteran outside linebacker Von Miller to an extension, the Rams front office was already flipping to plan B. So what if the Rams will go back to pressuring quarterbacks with OLB Leonard Floyd and DL Aaron Donald, the Rams had and should expect pressure from OLB Justin Hollins, NT Greg Gaines, and DL A’Shawn Robinson too.
And then there is OLB Terrell Lewis and Chris Garrett too. Perhaps not as intimidating. But still, a force to be reckoned with. In fact, if you track the game-by-game production from 2021 games, you will notice that when Von Miller stepped up, Leonard Floyd stepped back. It was as though the Rams shifted their primary pass-rushing role to Miller. If true, that would have forced Floyd into covering the flat, which is what seems to have been the case when examining box stats of those games.
But that creates two needs for the team to act. First, the Rams need to rework their plan to bolster their defense, as the team has already lost five players from the 2021 roster to free agency. Second, the front office needs to act decisively to prove to the players that they are still working to be one of the most competitive teams in the NFL.
Coach McVay never met a receiver he didn’t like
Okay, so step one is on the back burner for the moment. But holy moly, step two certainly gets a big checkmark and is taken off the list of things to do. The LA Rams borrowed our idea, took our Dare to Dream idea of signing up wide receiver Allen Robinson, and signed wide receiver Allen Robinson. Many doubted us then. We get lucky once in a while.
As we have stated repeatedly in the past – LA Rams head coach Sean McVay has never met a wide receiver that he didn’t like. But make no mistake, there is so much to love about Allen Robinson, starting with his signing price.
Estimated to have a market value at $18 million per year, the Rams reported have signed him to a three-year deal that is only $46.5 million. Compare that to the four-year $72 million paid to new Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk, and you may see why this is such an excellent value for the Rams. Now, can he play?
Can he play? Can he ever…
The 6-foot-2 220-pound wide receiver was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Penn State and has been one of my two favorite receivers to burst into the NFL scene. The other? LA Rams WR Cooper Kupp. And that is no small coincidence. Both receivers, as well as Rams WR Robert Woods, have a gritty, do-whatever-you-want, work-ethic approach to their onfield performance.
They are not a just-let-me-catch-it-nothing-else type. They love to mix it up with blocking, are meticulously dedicated to their craft, and bring in passes against virtually any defense, from virtually any defensive back. Robinson is as versatile as he is dangerous. His eight-year NFL carer has been built from catching passes thrown by Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles, Chicago Bears QB Mitch Trubisky, and QB Nick Foles. I don’t believe that I’m being particularly snarky to suggest that not one of those hurlers will be considered one of the league’s best.
But that is not the case when he lines up to catch passes from LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. We know that Stafford connected with Kupp and sent Kupp’s career skyrocketing. Now, can lightning strike twice? The Rams front office seems to think so, and we tend to agree with them.
Aren’t the LA Rams a bit thick at star-caliber wide receivers right now? Well, perhaps. But both the Detroit Lions (with QB Jared Goff) and the Minnesota Vikings (with head coach Kevin O’Connell) would be all ears if the Rams quietly discuss scenarios of trading one of their receivers. We know that the Lions are eager for offensive skill players.
We also know that O’Connell is dangling DE Danielle Hunter on a trade stick to get him off their books before his $18 million bonus kicks in on March 20, 2022. Hunter’s salary cap hit of $25.83 million must come off the books before the Vikings can sign their agreed-to new contracts. Is Hunter good? In six NFL seasons, he has 60.5 quarterback sacks and 314 tackles.
Yes, he’s very good.
Can the LA Rams work out a deal in the coming days? There is no reason to doubt them now. Just keep doubting us. It’s more fun that way.