LA Rams now pivot from trades to waiver claims and free agency

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

It was not for a lack of trying. The LA Rams had multiple reports surface of the team attempting to trade for a game-changer this season, but falling short for multiple reasons. In one case, the player was traded, but the Rams were outbid. In another case, the player was not traded, despite the Rams making a huge offer in an attempt to pry that player away. And in another case, the Rams and prospective trade partners were simply unable to work out a deal before the NFL Trade Deadline forced all teams to set down their cellphones and whiteboards.

In the end, it was the Rams’ own success with their trading for any game-changers formula that culminated in their success at winning Super Bowl LVI that resulted in their frustration in not acquiring roster help this season.

And that is something that the Rams had to anticipate. We certainly did nearly a year ago. Now, the very strategy that NFL ‘experts’ chided the Rams for adopting has become the latest craze in the rush by NFL general managers to build a better roster. And that trend is not just my perspective, but that of many NFL analysts.

So where does that leave the LA Rams? The NFL waiver wire and shopping free agency.

The LA Rams have been here before

In familiar territory, to be quite honest. Before the LA Rams Super Bowl LVI run, the Rams roster was assembled by submitting claims to players on the NFL waiver wire, or simply signing intriguing players who possessed qualities that the Rams were seeking at that time. The belief that a pedigree of a high-draft pick is necessary to establish a player at the NFL caliber of play is silly. Are AKC-registered dogs the only pets worth having?

The Rams built their roster from recycled players who have been waived elsewhere or have been overlooked by the traditional means of signing an NFL contract. Right now, the LA Rams left tackle Alaric Jackson is starting and playing well, despite never hearing his name called during an NFL Draft.

The LA Rams 2021 NFL season was an anomaly. The Rams have been assembling this roster all along. For the offensive line, the Rams have already signed IOL Oday Aboushi, Matt Skura, and OT Ty Nsekhe.  At running back, the Rams added RB Malcolm Brown and Ronnie Rivers. For the secondary, the team has added DB Shaun Jolly.

The Rams will recover, again

Are any of these players home runs? Perhaps not. But the Rams added DB Darious Williams in 2018, and by 2020 he was a starting defensive back for the LA Rams who generated four interceptions.

Already I’m reading the same old narrative that the Rams have no picks, no salary cap, and no hope. It’s almost as though the current Rams’ injury struggles have given those same tired old narratives that were debunked during the 2021 NFL season new life.

Sure, the Rams are struggling right now to overcome numerous injuries. The same plague that derailed the Rams in 2019: No salary cap, no draft picks, and no chance. But the Rams healed up, made some changes to their roster, and won the Super Bowl two years later.

Did the LA Rams splash NFL headlines with a sensational trade at the deadline? No. But of the ten teams that did make a trade, only one (if any) will end this year by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The LA Rams held this time. That does not mean that this team is out of the game.

It simply means that the team did not have the right hand to play, this time.

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