Don’t look for the LA Rams to enter sweepstakes for these 49ers players

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams roster Dee Ford
Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers pass rusher

After the 2021 NFL season, the LA Rams lost two outside linebackers when veteran Von Miller signed on with the Buffalo Bills and rotational player Ogbonnia Okoronkwo signed with the Houston Texans. In response, the LA Rams drafted a promising outside linebacker in Daniel Hardy.

But is there some value in adding a veteran?  What about former 49ers defensive end Dee Ford, who could fill the outside linebacker role for the LA Rams? After all, he was just released.

In a quick and dirty reaction, I would not look for the Rams to sign the guy. Why not? Isn’t he a guy who has piled up 40 quarterback sacks over eight NFL seasons? Yes, he is. But let’s look at his past three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

In the past three years, he has played in just 18 games and started just two of those contests. Perhaps even more telling, the guy has played in just 378 defensive snaps over the past three seasons.  For a point of reference, the LA Rams got 367 defensive snaps from outside linebacker Terrell Lewis in the 2021 NFL season.

Ford did manage to record 9.5 QB sacks in his time with the 49ers, but only 22 tackles over that same time frame. That flags his performance as someone who tends to sell out his role at setting the edge in an all-out pursuit of sacking the quarterback. The LA Rams want their outside linebackers to set the edge and defend the run as well, as Leonard Floyd and Von Miller did so well throughout the latter part of the 2021 NFL season and into the postseason.

I don’t see the Rams showing much interest in an oft-injured edge rusher.  Not at this early stage of training camp, at any rate.

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