4 affordable free-agent targets for LA Rams this offseason

Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead / Scott Cunningham/GettyImages
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The LA Rams are as savvy as ever when it comes to spending salary cap money on perceived value. So far, this team appears to be making the right moves to reform the roster, and in the right order as well. Trim a bit, add a bit. The team is off to a great start so far.

While the 2024 NFL Free Agency market is just days away, you have to give a round of applause to the LA Rams front office for their swift and surgical actions taken so far to ensure that this team remains competitive in 2024. With an offensive line down to just two of five starters returning to the team in 2024, GM Les Snead has acted quickly to bring back two more of the team's starters. With the team's wide receiver room appearing to be a bit barren, Snead acted to ensure the surprisingly productive veteran WR Demarcus Robinson would be back. And with durability concerns over RB Kyren Williams, the team has extended his understudy, RB Ronnie Rivers.

All told, the Rams have committed a healthy portion of their 2024 surplus salary cap funds to four key players. But the job's not done yet, not by a long shot. So who might the Rams lure to wear the horns on a team-friendly contract? We have some thoughts that seem to be the right player at the right time, but most importantly, for the right price.

This veteran edge still has gas in the tank

When the Baltimore Ravens signed 30 year-old veteran pass rusher in 2023, I was not sure what to make of it. His production with their rivals, the Cleveland Browns, had waned a bit. In fact, I presumed that Clowney would be a pass rush specialist, an outside linebacker who would platoon with another player specifically on obvious passing plays.

Yet he did so much more for the Ravens defense. He actually played 634 defensive snaps, and accounted for 43 tackles, 9.5 quarterback sacks, five deflected passes, two forced fumbles, nine tackles for a loss, 19 quarterback hits, 23 quarterback pressures, nine QB knockdowns, and did I miss anything? Oh yes, four quarterback hurries. And he did all of that for $2.5 million.

Current salary projections for Clowney are much higher, $7.2 million by Spotrac.com for 2024. But Clowney is in no rush. He prefers that teams perform OTAs and Training camps before he is willing to come aboard. By that time of the year, predictions over successful teams begin to truly focus on the top teams for that season. And Clowney wants to play for a winner. That's where the LA Rams come in.

The Rams want to generate more QB pressure, but they have two young rising stars who have to be factored into that solution in the form of NT Kobie Turner (9.0 QB sacks) and OLB Byron Young (8.0 QB sacks). The Rams merely need that one guy who can help take some of the pressure off All-Pro DT Aaron Donald, and who can beat single blocking throughout the season.

Clowney can deliver that.

At 31 years old, Clowney is move gap-bridge than permanent solution for the Rams pass rush deficiency. But if he can redo what he added to the Ravens defense, the team will take a huge stride in the right direction.

Estimated salary cost: $4.9 million

3 more affordable additions to the Rams roster

  1. III: Backup quarterback
  2. II: Edge Rusher
  3. I: Defensive Back