2023 LA Rams roster breakdown, shockingly thin at some positions

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Matt Gay
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Special team specialists (0)

What are we saying here? The LA Rams do not have a contract for either a long-snapper, a punter, or a placekicker for the 2023 NFL season. And you may have mixed opinions about that. Should the LA Rams extend their current specialists? Or is it time to spin the wheel and see what the Rams may find from the pool of NFL talent in free agency, the 2023 NFL Draft, or the crop of NFL-eager rookies who want to sign with a team after the draft?

It’s a great puzzle.

Let’s break it down for you.

Placekicker (0): The LA Rams will most certainly seek to extend placekicker Matt Gay, whose presence has been so good that there is no longer any fear of a missed field goal. Ah, but that level of dependability will come at a cost. The latest estimates are an annual cost of $5.1 million. Right now, Gay is earning half of that amount.

Will the Rams ante up to keep Matt Gay on the roster? Or will the Rams play the long game, allowing Matt Gay to sign a new contract elsewhere with the belief that exodus could trigger a future compensatory draft pick?  That’s a good conversation to have. I suspect that the Rams will find the funds to extend him.
Status: Extend Matt Gay

Long snapper (0): The LA Rams will likely re-sign long snapper Matthew Orzech because, well, he’s their long snapper in 2022. He was claimed off the Tennessee Titans waiver wire in 2021 and has been adequate for the Rams so far. Long snappers tend to run cheap, so Orzech will be unlikely to have any leverage to earn a premium in the NFL free agency market.
Status: Extend Matthew Orzech

Punter (0): The LA Rams opted to go with the veteran punter Riley Dixon in 2022, after bringing in two punters for competition. As far as gross punting? Dixon can kick. His average gross punt of 48.8 yards is good enough for ninth-best in the NFL. But it goes downhill quickly from there. Because Dixon’s punts do not arc high into the air and come out as a line drive, he can be blocked. And he was blocked, twice, which is the worst in the NFL after 14 games.

His net punting of 42.0 yards is only 22nd-best in the NFL because his punts set up the return quite easily. In fact, he has 322 punt return yards, 29th-ranked in the NFL. He also struggles to pin opponents inside their own 20-yard line, his 15 times ranks 26th in the NFL. A mixed bag? If the Rams re-up Dixon, it’s a short and cheap deal.
Status: Not extended