3 overrated free agents the Rams were wise to avoid

Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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Bonus: Not trading for this edge rusher

The LA Rams sought to trade with the Carolina Panthers in 2022 for the rights to DE/OLB Brian Burns. At the time, the Rams roster was in the process of being decimated by an outbreak of injuries that nearly wiped out the team's entire starting offensive line. At the time, the Rams offer was reportedly two first-round picks, in 2024 and 2025 respectively, as well as a second-round pick in 2025.

Thankfully, the Panthers said no. They did however say yes to the New York Giants offer this offseason, The Giants will send their second-round and fifth-round picks to the Carolina Panthers for Burns, as well as immediately sign Burns to a five-year $150 million dollar contract. Let me say that again. The Giants traded two picks to the Panthers, and were immediately were on the hook for a contact that averaged $30 million per year, for Brian Burns.

So what did the Rams have to settle for?

Rookie outside linebacker Byron Young outperformed Brian Burns in 2023, and will earn $1.2 million in 2024. Check out the comparison below:


Brian Burns

Byron Young

2024 earnings

$15.5 million

$ 1.26 million

2023 tackles



2023 QB sacks



2023 tackles for loss



2023 QB hits



2023 completion %

80.0 percent

76.5 percent

It's crystal clear that the Rams not only dodged a bullet by not trading for Brian Burns, but that the team actually upgraded in 2023 with the addition of rookie outside linebacker Byron Young. And now that Brian Burns has gotten paid, what is his motivation? Will he put up huge numbers?

Byron Young is not only incredibly talented, but he plays the game of football out of a love for the game that few players possess. It's that passion that convinces me that he, not Brian Burns, will take a huge step in 2023. And we are only getting started.