5 free agents Rams can sign to replace Aaron Donald

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Boy Wonder

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Derek Barnett is another fallen NFL star at the pass rusher position. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 259 pounds, Barnett fills a role in the defensive front much like that of former DE Morgan Fox. While his star has dimmed considerably, a change of scenery could do both the player and the person a world of good.

Barnett's best NFL season happened in 2020. He played 535 defensive snaps that year, recording 34 tackles, 5.5 quarterback sacks, six tackles for a loss, and 16 quarterback hits. While he has not replicated that level of production, he does hold the potential to do so if the conditions are right.

He is no Morgan Fox, but he is an option. And the LA Rams have a way of unlocking the best of some players. Could Barnett return to 6.0+ quarterback sacks for the Rams? There is only one way to find out.

The QB sack Shaq

The career of veteran DE Shaq Lawson's eight seasons in the NFL has been spent entirely in the AFC East. So far, he has spent six seasons with the Buffalo Bills, one season with the Miami Dolphins, and one season with the New York Jets. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 265 pounds, Lawson has spent much of his NFL time as a defensive end. But he has played outside linebacker as well.

Like many players on this list, Shaq Lawson is a rotational player whose production has dropped and who should be affordable on a very team-friendly deal. Lawson played 325 defensive snaps in the Bills defense in 2023, generating 13 tackles, 1.0 quarterback sack, two tackles for a loss, seven quarterback hits.

He is more productive than his stats suggest, a selfless veteran who always seem to answer the bell, be around the football, and help to make plays. He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 265 pounds, a powerful pass rusher. His high-water mark of 6.5 quarterback sacks happened in 2019. Can he get there again?