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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The center of fiscal troubles

As the LA Rams pivoted from a disappointing loss in the 2024 NFL Playoffs to restrategize for the upcoming 2024 NFL season, many fans cited the team's offensive line as the most obvious place to start. To that end, the name of Denver Bronco's free agent center Lloyd Cushenberry came up in conversations as a way to solidify the team's interior offensive line.

Cushenberry was drafted by the Denver Broncos with the 83rd overall pick in Round 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft. He has been a full time starter for the Broncos for the past four seasons, but has not always been a player who seemed to be on the right track. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 315 pounds, it has never been a matter of size or power with Lloyd Cushenberry. Rather, he struggled with pass blocking at times, averaging over five penalties and nearly three quarterback sacks per year.

Not surprisingly, he did manage to put up the best season of his career in a contract year, allowing just one quarterback sack and committing five penalties. Curiously, even his best season was not enough to convince the Bronco's to extend him.

That was not the case for the Tennessee Titans', who were delighted to sign him to a four-year contract worth $50 million. For comparison purposes, Rams former starter Coleman Shelton started 17 games in 2023, played 63 more offensive snaps, and allowed just two quarterback sacks while committing six penalties. He just signed a one year deal to play for the Chicago Bears worth $3 million. Shelton is just two years older than Cushenberry.

The Rams did spend money on offensive guards this year, which will all but mandate moving former left guard Steve Avila to the center position in 2024. But they did manage to pay both IOL Kevin Dotson and IOL Jonah Jackson less than what the market was paying top performers.

Cushenberry may work out for the Titans, but I'm glad that it's not the Rams footing the bill to find out.