No veteran OLB?
It was plain to see that the LA Rams believed that they had a good chance to re-sign veteran outside linebacker Von Miller, and painfully obvious that the front office focused on Miller at the expense of all other veteran free agents at the position.
And so, the Rams, in a gesture of good faith, told Von Miller to take as much time as necessary to make his decision. And so, while Miller deliberated, other NFL teams who were in pursuit of Miller began to sign Plan-B veteran free agents. By the team that Von Miller ultimately chose the Buffalo Bills over the LA Rams, the shelves of viable outside linebackers who could make a difference in the Rams’ defense were all bare.
The LA Rams front office failed to land any veteran OLB.
The belief is that the Rams feel that their roster is strong enough to survive the loss of Von Miller and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. The team will likely start Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins, and depend on a strong rotational presence of Terrell Lewis and Chris Garrett. That may work, but it allows almost no margin of error. No room for an injured player. No allowance for a slow start.
Will all of this work out? Well, the Rams roster was running at the bare minimum for weeks in 2021 until the team traded for veteran OLB Von Miller. Will the team find itself in a similar position this year? Perhaps.
If the Rams remain healthy at their outside linebacker position, the defense is in superb shape to be as good if not better than that of 2021. But that is a very huge “if”. And the depth at outside linebacker dissipates rapidly after just one injury. And for a defending Super Bowl Champion, leaving such a critical role up to chance feels like it’s just inviting danger.