Does LA Rams horrific season raise option to blow up roster?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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What happens if the LA Rams do blow up this roster?

Blowing up a roster is not something to be undertaken lightly. Doing so wipes the slate clean across the organization. It does not fix an overextended NFL salary cap. It does not suddenly bolster inadequate coaching. It does not even restore strained player relations to neutral. Much like it sounds, the concept of blowing up the roster takes it all down to the foundation and requires building the team from the ground up.

That takes years to realize the fruits of that effort, which is why so many NFL veterans seek to be traded if that is truly an option. So who goes? Well, if the Rams do undertake the level of rebuild suggested by some, you cannot expect that the veterans like QB Matthew Stafford, DB Jalen Ramsey, DL Aaron Donald, WR Allen Robinson, WR Cooper Kupp, or even newcomer ILB Bobby Wagner would want to endure the pain of losing, drafting, wash, rinse, and repeating the cycle until the Rams begin winning again.

The Rams won’t recoup much in a trading veteran scenario

What happens to those players? If the Rams extend options to the players (a most likely scenario), the Rams would quite likely deal away all of them for less than Rams fans would hope for. But at what cost? The impact would not be limited to game day. Many of the younger players currently on the roster had depended heavily upon the veterans to mentor them in the early going of their careers

    • Draft          2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022  2023(Projected blown-up roster) Round 1        0           0            0         0          0           0          0+1 Round 2        1           0            1         2          1           0          1+1 Round 3        2           1            3         2          1           1          1+1 Round 4        2           1            1         1          3           1           0+2 Round 5        0           2            1         0          1           1           2 Round 6        2           4            0         1          0           2           4+1 Round 7        1           2            2         3          3           3           2 Total               8         10           8         9          9            8         10+6

After trading away Rams veteran standouts, what is truly left is a completely blank slate. Sure, the team will have enough players to put a helmet in all 22+ starting positions. But the roster will find itself bereft of competent and accomplished veteran leaders on both sides of the football.

Worse yet, because the Rams’ contract creation became very creative to afford so many accomplished veterans in 2021, the savings of pushing some of those dollars into the future becomes a financial quagmire that gives the Rams no salary cap relief next season. In short, the Rams remove accomplished veterans from the roster without the means to pay for their replacements.

You can form your own opinion, as always. But from my perspective, blowing up the Rams roster creates far more problems than it solves. A suddenly fresh roster resets everything, meaning that the Rams will need to endure the growing pains that accompany young prospects’ growth and development into NFL-competent players. I, for one, do not relish the patience and understanding necessary to see that all the way through.

Blow it up? Only if you are certain that the 2023 NFL Draft truly offers upgrades at many current Rams roster positions. The Rams have been to two Super Bowls over the course of four NFL seasons. Perhaps, just like the strategy adopted after the disappointing 2019 NFL season, we should trust the LA Rams to make it all right once more.

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