Detractor II: Is it the right message to send players?
We’ve shown how important a veteran like Robert Woods can be to an NFL team’s locker room, and he delivers all that and more to the LA Rams organization. He is so good at his craft that if and when he decides to hang up his cleats, he is an ideal personality to immediately be added as an intern to the NFL coaching cycle.
So it falls to reason that whatever the Rams decide to do in the here an now, particularly when deciding the fate and future of such a vital veteran leader as WR Robert Woods, will have long term implications for the younger players on the roster. And the team has invested heavily in young receivers.
Send the right message
Relationships with players is certainly a two-way street. For fans, it’s not uncommon to view the team as a whole, and therefore lean a bit into what is best for the team. But for players? The perspective flips, and they root for other players, oftentimes in a way that can seem detrimental to their own team’s objectives. It’s not disloyal, but rather a first-hand understanding that players must do what is best for themselves and their loved ones.
The LA Rams signed veteran WR DeSean Jackson, then drafted WRs Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, and TE/WR Jacob Harris. Although he had earned a place on the 2020 roster, WR Trishton Jackson realized that he dropped to the bottom of the depth chart in 2021. By the time roster cuts to get to the final 53-man roster came around, Jackson did not wait around to re-sign with the team’s practice squad. Instead, he signed on with the Minnesota Vikings practice squad. Now, he will have the chance to reunite with former coaches Kevin O’Connell and Wes Phillips.
Actions speak louder than words. The LA Rams broadcast to their players with each roster move. The question is: Is it the right message to send to the players?