Can LA Rams ST Coordinator lure ex-Panthers K Eddy Pineiro to join him?

Eddie Pineiro
Eddie Pineiro / Al Pereira/GettyImages

For the second time in his six seasons as LA Rams head coach. Sean McVay had a solid placekicker and then didn't. The first was fan favorite Greg 'The Leg' Zuerlein, whose NFL: career will extend into his 12th season, even as his accuracy has taken a turn downwards. The second is the recent loss of placekicker Matt Gay, who has agreed to set the bar as the highest-paid NFL kicker with a contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

Gay's contract is so lucrative that it actually projects to trigger the NFL algorithm for awarding 2024 NFL Draft compensatory draft picks. As of now, the LA Rams project to be awarded a 2024 NFL Draft pick in Round 6. Great for the LA Rams 2024 NFL Draft, but not so hot for the Rams 2023 NFL season. But that could change.

Placekicker Eddy Pineiro is a free agent, and he played for the Carolina Panthers one year ago. Why do I mention that? LA Rams ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn coached for the Carolina Panthers one year ago. Right now, Pineiro needs a new NFL team, and the LA Rams certainly in need of a veteran kicker.

Rams need a veteran kicker

Eddy Pineiro is a solid placekicker. Solid as in really good. He had a better FG percentage (94.3%) made than Matt Gay (93.3%), and his long kicks were outstanding (FG at 40+ yards 15 out of 16). He was very good on extra points (30 of 32). In fact, Paneiro led the NFL in field goal completions in 2022.

Despite the excellent season, Paneiro has played three seasons so far for three different NFL teams: The Chicago Bears, the New York Jets, and now the Carolina Panthers. So why aren't the Rams making an offer? Well, the truth of the matter tha unless he is willing to sign for less than $2 million per year, his signing could negate one of the LA Rams anticipated awarded compensatory 2024 NFL Draft picks. Right now, we estimate that the LA Rams projected to be awarded two compensatory picks. Unfortunately, the market for Rams players has not been nearly as hot as previous years, and many of the player we had expected to sign with a new team are still looking for an NFL roster.

With the departure of fan-favorite Matt Gay, the LA Rams would be wise to address their need for a placekicker (and all special team needs) by signing a veteran before the 2023 NFL Draft. I think that despite Matt Gay signing for a record-high four-year $22.5 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts, the Rams could actually upgrade at the position, particularly if the team can land Paneiro for a team friendly contract.

Coming off a contract of just $895,000, I believe that the Rams could sign the kicker to a two-year deal worth $4 million, and even spice it up a bit with incentives. Hey, kickers may not seem like a priority until the LA Rams cannot depend on one.

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The Rams can depend on Eddy Pineiro. Let's sign him up, before some other team does so.