Reason IV: Rams front office failed to sign a veteran kicker
What we plainly see on the football field is the end result of the efforts made by the LA Rams front office, the coaching staff, and the players. But what we as fans fail to see without a great deal of work includes all of the contributing factors for the performance and production on the football field. And those contributing factors can produce a huge range of performances.
The LA Rams entered the 2023 NFL season with no clear plan for the placekicker role. As we all may recall, the LA Rams rifled through four placekickers in 2020 before the team finally found their fifth and final kicker for the second half of that season in K Matt Gay. Gay remained with the team through 2022 but was wooed away from the Rams roster after his contract expired by the huge sack of cash offered by the Indianapolis Colts.
Curiously, the Colts may have buyer's remorse now, as Gay did not live up to his 'highest paid kicker in the NFL,' contract in 2023. Meanwhile, the Rams offseason shopping for placekickers to compete for the 2023 NFL season did not include a veteran NFL kicker at all. Instead, the Rams signed two top-tier rookie kickers after the 2023 NFL Draft: North Carolina State's Christopher Dunn, and Oklahoma State's Tanner Brown.
Dunn was released pretty quickly in the 2023 offseason. But rather than add a veteran kicker to ensure competition, the Rams stuck with Tanner Brown exclusively, cutting him after the preseason. Was it a mistake to do so? Well, the timing of that front office fiasco was poorly timed, as all 32 NFL teams had secured their starting kicker by that time.
The team ended up signing kicker Brett Maher to the team's practice squad to start the season.
Oddly enough, the Rams have since re-signed kicker Tanner Brown to compete for a role in 2024. Oddly enough, the Rams also re-signed kicker Brett Maher after replacing him with K Lucas Havrisik. Who was calling the shots in terms of the Rams roster? If not ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn, then it is difficult to fault him for such a hokey-pokey strategy.