2023 LA Rams roster breakdown, shockingly thin at some positions
By Bret Stuter
Offense skill positions
The LA Rams offense has been almost on autopilot recently. While this team has struggled to put up points in the 2022 NFL season, the roster has been allowed to simultaneously face expiring contracts across the Rams roster. How bad is it? The Rams backfield, as of today, has only three returning players. Add the tight end position, and the Rams will welcome back five such players. Who is returning? Let’s take a look:
Quarterback (1): The good news right now is that QB Mattew Stafford will be back, and for many reasons should be completely rested, healed, and ready to go. That leaves the backup quarterback position. What can the Rams do? Well, QB John Wolford and QB Bryce Perkins are easy on the pursestrings, know the drill, and understand the Rams offense as well as anyone.
But the arrival of Baker Mayfield threw a monkey wrench into the works. The Rams witnessed how easily Mayfield unlocked the offense behind the threat of a veteran mobile quarterback. But in the same light, the Rams also witnessed the limits of a mobile quarterback. Of course, Mayfield ran the second and third-string offense against NFL opponents. I think the Rams would like to have Baker Mayfield back. But I’m convinced that Baker Mayfield wants to start, now.
Status: QBs Wolford and Perkins likely extended, Mayfield FA
Running back (3): The LA Rams are projected to welcome back rookie RB Kyren Williams, RB Ronnie Rivers (per Spotrac.com), and veteran RB Cam Akers returning. That leaves veteran RB Malcolm Brown as the lone free agent. I like the 5-foot-11, 225-pound veteran running back, but I’m not convinced that the Rams have enough business to warrant extending him to return, even at the NFL minimum salary.
The Rams have 10 draft picks, and you just know that the team is itching to choose another young fresh set of legs. If the team follows through and hires Mike LaFleur as the new offensive coordinator, that could steer the Rams to a bigger-bodied rookie rusher. But in either scenario, I would be surprised if the team extends Brown.
Status: RB Malcolm Brown not extended
Tight end (4): The LA Rams will welcome back veteran tight end Jared Pinkney, Roger Carter, Tyler Higbee, and Brycen Hopkins in 2023. While that is certainly a solid group, I believe that the Rams will be very interested in adding to this group. Both Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins are projected to test the NFL Free Agency market in 2024. That typically signifies that the Rams draft will target at least one tight end. With 10 picks, I think that sounds about right.
Status: No expiring contracts