Rich Eisen: LA Rams recent deals pressure the 49ers to follow suit

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Rams raised the compensation of All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald by an astronomical amount, making him the highest-paid NFL non-quarterback in the history of the game. But the front office was truly just getting warmed up, wasn’t it?  Within the next 48 hours, the same front office signed the entire eight-player rookie class of 2022 to contracts and then gave a massive three-year extension to All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

Meanwhile, NFL fans, analysts, insiders, and experts are left bewildered and amazed over the fact that the LA Rams were able to pull all of this off on top of extending quarterback Matthew Stafford, signing WR Allen Robinson and ILB Bobby Wagner, and trading for DB Troy Hill.

But this is how the LA Rams roll, folks. While other teams spread the wealth over their roster, the LA Rams set out to acquire NFL game-changers, and then treat them as such when it comes time to sign them to contracts. The team manages to balance it all out with a complex and highly effective organization that casts a huge net far and wide to sign up 20 or more rookies, each of whom is given a good chance of earning a spot on the team roster.

LA Rams roster remains young

The Rams have been at this fasting with no first-round picks since the team traded for the first overall draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and selected quarterback Jared Goff. The  Rams front office has been at the blockbuster trade game since a 2019 mid-season blockbuster trade sent All-Pro DB Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams, and a bevy of valued NFL Draft picks was sent to the Jacksonville Jaguars as compensation.

For the LA Rams front office, this is about strategic moves to build an NFL Championship roster, not about adding stars to splash the NFL headlines. The Rams are very selective and deliberate about what they do, who they will add, and what the team will do once they have those players added to the roster. So how can the team avoid sinking with so many top NFL talents?

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The LA Rams roster remains one of the youngest in the NFL. That means that the best players of this team must do far more than their counterparts on other rosters. But it also means that the Rams coaching staff must not only lead their positional groups but be able to handle the demands of replacing the roster each year.