4 unsigned LA Rams FAs remain hopeful on the market

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Free Agency Odell Beckham Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Special teams and special players

While running back Buddy Howell may no longer be on the LA Rams roster, his time playing for the team was more than just wasted time. He was a big-bodied running back who was willing to fill whatever role the team would offer him. At 6-foot-1 and 215-pounds, he certainly appeared to fit the bill as a big-bodied back who could move the chains. Unfortunately, he never blossomed in that role, running five times for just 11 yards.

But he did have a solid place on special teams. No, not in returning punts and kickoffs (although he did try his hand unsuccessfully at returning kickoffs), but in coverage units. He was frequently around the ball. And when we talk about the hit on Deebo Samuel by Nick Scott, don’t forget that Buddy Howell was laying the smackdown in that game as well.

While the LA Rams explore the capacity and fit of a new draft class for the 2022 NFL season, Howell is forced to sit this one out. Will he be back? I wouldn’t rule it out. He certainly contributes to the Rams’ special teams. But, for now, that just is not enough

Star receiver without a team

One player who definitely does enough is veteran wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Rather, he does enough when he is healthy. Right now, he is not, and that is what is holding up the means to reach a contractual agreement. But make no mistakes, the LA Rams want to sign OBJ, and OBJ wants to sign with the Rams.

There is just too much uncertainty for the team to commit to ink and paper, and too much uncertainty for the player to commit to what may be a deeply discounted contract. There could be some contractual languages and clauses that could incentivize OBJ and protect the LA Rams, but the two sides did that in their one-year deal that took the Rams to the Super Bowl and resulted in an ACL injury for Beckham. OBJ knows the Rams’ offensive playbook, so the two sides needn’t fret over getting a deal done until the Rams get past the 53-man roster cuts.

But until then, look for a lot of uncertainty.