The LA Rams may not be distantly removed from the 2023 NFL season, but with the exception of exit interviews, filing paperwork, evaluating the season's performance, and establishing realistic goals for the 2024 NFL season, the Rams have begun the process of pivoting their attention to 2024.
Of course, the complexities of the 2023 offseason were very challenging. But the success of the Rams front office in restocking the players and coaches on an exhausted and disappointed team last season will only serve to raise the bar for the team in 2024.
Higher bar equals higher expectations. That is a tough row to hoe for the LA Rams front office after nailing their 2023 NFL Draft that will only appear more and more incredible as time passes. But for the short-term, the success of last year's rookie class will be very difficult to replicate in 2024.
Tempering expectations is something that we must all attempt. But that is not to say that the LA Rams will not do a good job of selecting rookies in the upcoming draft. I actually expect the LA Rams will simply continue the same criteria that they applied with tremendous effect in the 2023 NFL Draft to the 2024 prospects. In short, the Rams are not just seeking talented young players, but for players who really care.
Who will the Rams offer a meaningful extension to in the off-season? And who will the team allow to test their market value in the 2024 NFL Free Agency market? Historically, the Rams seldom willingly enter a bidding war for their players. The lone exception in recent years was veteran OLB Von Miller, a player who signed with the Buffalo Bills for the biggest bag, but whose production has been minimal. I don't foresee the Rams doing so this year.
The LA Rams have plenty of veteran free agents to consider for extensions. But even with a rather robust war chest of non-committed 2024 salary cap dollars to spend, the Rams cannot ignore the fact that the team can compete just as well by spending wisely. The Rams learned a valuable lesson in 2024. Players do not need huge salaries to want to win. For the LA Rams, will the team extend IOL Kevin Dotson, or count on one of the younger players to step up into a starting role in 2024? I truly do not know the answer. But if the Rams fail to extend Dotson, you can bet the next man up is already on the Rams roster.