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
4 of 4

I: Defensive Back

The Baltimore Ravens had an impressive pass defense in 2023, and one of the reasons was due to the presence of DB Rock Ya-Sin. While just a rotational player, he did appear in 14 games with one start. What stood out was his pass defense, denying 10 of 21 passes thrown his way, allowing just 52.4 percent of passes to find their target.

Standing 6-foot-0 and weighing 195 pounds, Rock Ya-Sin was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in Round 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft. As such, he was signed to a one-year prove it deal by the Ravens. Did he prove himself? Well, he is heading for the 2024 NFL Free Agency market once again.

RYS was not given many defensive snaps in 2023, suiting up for 279 defensive snaps, and 149 special team snaps. But at 27 years old, and with reasonable height for a cornerback, he becomes a promising veteran to add to the secondary.

He earned a grade of 63.3 from Pro Football Focus in 2023, a decent enough score for a lightly used defensive back. He even saw action in the 2024 NFL Playoffs as well. What I appreciate most about Rock Ya Sin is the fact that he could start for the Rams if necessary, but he can play effectively as a depth player in the secondary as well.

While any free agent addition is a roll of the dice, I believe that Rock Ya Sin is at the right stage of his NFL career where he would jump at the chance to compete in the Horns, and could even win a starting role on the team. Even if the Rams draft a shutdown cornerback with the 19th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, Ya Sin ensures adequate competition to start the best player on the opening kickoff. He was willing to sign with the Baltimore Ravens for $4 million in 2023. I think the Rams can do a bit better.

Estimated salary cost: $3.75 million

Those are some affordable free agent targets for the LA Rams when the 2024 NFL Free Agency market opens just days from now. Keep in mind that the most expensive (and recognizable) players land contracts when the market opens. But they are frequently not the best value at all.

In 2023, the Rams were forced to exhibit great restraint, and ended up having an incredibly successful free agency year. The team paid next to nothing, and yet ended up with WR Demarcus Robinson, RB Royce Freeman, DB Ahkello Witherspoon, DB John Johnson III, and even landed backup QB Carson Wentz.

While it's fun to witness the team signing big name free agents, I would be thrilled if the team approached the 2024 NFL Free Agency market with a bit of discernment and frugality. Players who want big contracts sometimes lose their focus, and the passion for simply competing in a football game. Players who were added in 2023 loved the game, and it showed in each game, on each play.

I hope that the team does not lose that passion. WIn or lose, it's much more fun to watch the LA Rams play in a game when they are fighting until the final whistle. In 2024, I believe there will be many more wins than losses.