LA Rams fans are waiting for the other shoe to drop
Wrinkle I: Are the LA Rams nearing a deal for a new Edge rusher?
The LA Rams traded for OLB Von Miller instead. That move was all that was needed to send the team over the top. But over the past two seasons, the Rams have lost OLB Samsun Ebukam, OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and now veteran OLB Von Miller. The team started the 2021 NFL season without either Ebukam or Miller, but the position was stretched very thin as rookie Chris Garrett needed time to develop, Justin Hollins was injured early, and both Terrell Lewis and Obo fought through injuries.
If not for the ability to activate OLB Justin Lawler from the practice squad, the Rams would have been very desperate. The problem? Lawler was poached as well. Over the course of two seasons, the Rams have added four players (Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Von Miller Terrell Lewis, and Chris Garrett) and lost six players (Samsun Ebukam, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Von Miller, Dante Fowler Jr., Justin Lawler, and Clay Matthews).
Von is gone but took too long
If this was just a numbers game, the Rams could emphasize the rather deep outside linebacker class in the 2022 NFL Draft and select one or two players who could make a rotational difference for the defense this year. That would mean starters Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins, primary backups Terrell Lewis and Chris Garrett, and two rookies.
But after experiencing Von Miller in 2021, I don’t think that the Rams are as cozy at going cheap on the edge. So will that mean some veteran free agent or a trade? I don’t have the answers this morning. I know that we offered up plenty of “Move on from Von” options almost instantly after he signed elsewhere. Now, some of those options have themselves signed on elsewhere.
The problem is that the Rams were so focused upon Von Miller and doing everything right by him, including giving him all the time in the world to decide, that the team lost significantly talented edge rushers to some of the teams that were in the bidding for Miller but dropped out. Yes, Von is gone, but his decision took too long, and that truly crippled the team’s chances to find an alternate player.