How former DROY FA may have found peace, but lost Rams pursuit to sign him

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

The tasks for LA Rams GM Les Snead are easy to track, far easier to rage against, but almost impossible to replicate. After all, if it was easy to restore an NFL Playoff team from almost no funds and no first-round draft pick, you know full well that other NFL teams would have taken up their own yolks and plodded along right behind the Rams.

But it's not that easy to do. The math part of the job is tough, but is arguably the easiest part of the job. Math is definitive. It's predictable. If the team has $10 million to spend on three more free agent signings who can contribute, there is no grey area where the team might sign more players or exceed the budget. Numbers are clear that way.

But when it comes to the quality of player, that is a subjective matter that can be argued until the end of time with no side declaring the upper hand. If it takes a thief to catch a thief, then the Rams have the upper hand because they have the direction of former All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald to guide them:

"I will partner with anyone, just make sure they care."

Aaron Donald

That is as fitting of a legacy as anything for the Great One. And it has been the standard for this team held to warrant any roster addition, whether rookies selected during the draft, signed after the draft, or free agent veterans signed from the NFL Free Agent market:

So why raise that point when we are talking about former DROY Shaquille Leonard? Well, after six incredible NFL seasons, and a failed attempt to restart his career in 2023 by signing with the Philadelphia Eagles, former Indianapolis Colts DROY Shaquille Leonard has found peace with his NFL career, and has taken a healthy perspective of accepting what he had done in the NFL.

The thing is, does he still have the same fire burning inside? Does he still have the burning desire to play with raging passion for the game? Or has an injury-impacted career forced him to understand that he is now limited in terms of what he can, and cannot do? And does he care about it enough to work tirelessly to reclaim as much of his All-Pro form?

In an article about the gifted veteran, Jeremy Bergman shares the portrait of an NFL veteran player who seems to have found internal peace and contentment with whatever comes his way:

"I am more so just sitting back, getting the body healthy, and whenever the opportunity presents itself, we will give it a try. I just continue to be me by working hard.

If it happens, it happens. If it does not, it does not. I think throughout my career I have had a great career, even if I do step away from it. ... I am enjoying life and just waiting on that opportunity."

as per Indianapolis Star Kyle Smedley

The thing is, that does not portray a player who is still hungry. And in the myriad of options, and the limits to roster slots and budgets, does a player who may have lost the Eye of the Tiger sound like a sound and safe bet?

The Rams could use veteran help on this roster, the type of veteran help that Shaquille Leonard can bring to the football field and to the locker room. But it seems unlikely to happen. This team knows that it will take work and hard effort to carve a place in the stone annals of NFL defensive rankings in 2024. A veteran who appears to be at a take-it-or-leave-it place in his life may not be fully invested in taking that journey with this team.

In terms of fit alongside Jared Verse, Ernest Jones, Byron Young, and all of the other linebackers on this team, Leonard's production speaks for itself. He is the ideal addition to the roster. But in terms of attitude? Perhaps that ship had sailed.

The Rams young defense cannot be content to let what may happen, happen. This is a young team that must alter their trajectory through effort and will-power. Perhaps, in that light, Shaquille Leonard is not a great fit after all.

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