LA Rams rumors over trading for RB Christian McCaffrey heat up

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The debate rages on among LA Rams fans as to how the team needs to act to salvage their 2022 NFL season. Do the LA Rams need to fix their running back situation first? Or do the LA Rams need to fix their offensive line first? And so it goes, with the need to express our opinions dwarfing our interest in understanding the real cause of the problems.

The issue is certainly too complex for the 280-character limitations imposed by Twitter. Perhaps that is why are emboldened to profess such a simple solution to a complex matter. To some, the problem is entirely the fault of the offensive line, a group that has suffered from years of underinvesting in premier talent. But this year’s problems are clearly not due to bad offensive linemen, but rather bad luck.

In fact, some of the data does not even support the argument that the problem is the Rams’ offensive line at all.

So difficult is the matter that the Rams have not even attempted a wholesale fix. After all, if the problem is no running lanes to run through, then how do you explain this?

So perhaps the demands at fixing the offensive line truly are secondary to the urgency of getting the team’s rushing back on track.

Rams rumors link the team to Panther McCaffrey

The Rams’ rumors linking the team to Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey began as soon as the team began handing out pink slips to a number of coaches. I chose to ignore the initial rumors, as the ease of linking the LA Rams to almost every veteran who excels at their position is almost a given.

But try as I might, the rumors have persisted. And today, the LA Rams are named as one of the teams who have expressed interest in the Panthers RB.

Much like former LA Rams RB Todd Gurley, McCaffrey has been a one-stop shopping center for the Panthers’ offensive needs. He can run, receive, and block at a level that satisfies even the most demanding offensive coach or system.

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Pressure is on the Rams to do something

There are two problems though. McCaffrey has begun to show signs of wear and tear, as his past two seasons were riddled with injuries. And he is one of the most salary cap expensive running backs in the NFL.

Of course, neither issue is a deal breaker. But in early negotiations, they are significant matters that will be used by the Rams to try to strike up the best deal from the Panthers. If the Carolina Panthers stick to their guns and demand excessive compensation, the Rams will be the first team to pull out of talks.

So far this season, McCaffrey has rushed 72 times for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He has also hauled in 26 of 35 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. Is that enough to lure the LA Rams into trading for him?

Right now, time is running against the LA Rams. The Rams traded for QB Matthew Stafford to open their window to win now. But with each passing game and injury, the window closes a little bit more. Trading for Christian McCaffrey is a huge risk to take.

But we’ve learned in the past, those are the types of deals that Rams GM Les Snead seems to be most comfortable with.

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