Having cleared waivers, LA Rams re-sign ILB Travin Howard

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In one of their opening transactions of the 2022 offseason, the LA Rams front office locked in RFA ILB Travin Howard with a $2.54 million Qualifying Tender offer. Since the Rams roster emerged from the 2021 NFL season somewhat shallow at the inside linebacker position, the re-signing allowed the front office to ensure that the team would have the young and promising defender on the roster for the 2022 NFL season. As a plus, Howard was one of the more promising players at the position for the LA Rams.

But the offseason is a bit unpredictable. The LA Rams were able to sign veteran ILB Bobby Wagner on a contract that cost the team a mere $2.5 million this year. With Wagner aboard, the LA Rams had the desired depth at the inside linebacker position. Unfortunately, that meant that the more expensive Howard was now susceptible to being cut. That happened on June 8, 2022:

While Travin Howard fits the parameters of a cap casualty, the LA Rams had ulterior motives behind his release. The only way to lower his contract price was to release him, hope that he cleared waivers, and then renegotiate his contract at a far more team-friendly cost.

Howard cleared NFL waivers, so the next step remaining was to sign him to a new contract. Per NFL Insider Jordan Shultz, that is now happening today.

While this may not appear newsworthy to some, Howard is vital to the LA Rams’ plans for a repeat as Super Bowl winner. Not only does he add quality depth to the inside linebacker position, but he is one of the few backup linebackers on the team with quality defensive snaps.

He is also a key contributor on special teams, and his return will no doubt ensure that he will play on coverage units in the 2022 NFL season.

Improving a roster is not only signing elite starters. The same benefit can be had by improving the bottom of the roster as well. Howard is back, and the LA Rams are a better team for it.

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