LA Rams can sign a new Robert Woods in free agency

The LA Rams can sign a new version of their former wide receiver Robert Woods in 2023 NFL free agency.
The LA Rams can sign a new version of their former wide receiver Robert Woods in 2023 NFL free agency. / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Former LA Rams / Tennessee Titans wide receiver Robert Woods is back on the market after being released by the Tennessee Titans, but that doesn't mean the LA Rams should pounce on their former wide receiver. Not when LA Rams general manager Les Snead can find a new, younger version of Woods in the 2023 NFL Free Agency market.

The player in question is former New England Patriots' wide receiver, Jakobi Meyers. He's perhaps the leading name within a far-from-loaded receiver class in this year's veteran free-agency market, despite not being a true star. Meyers is unheralded, but he's also tough, versatile, and resourceful, things Woods once made staples of both phases of the Rams' offense.

That all changed when Snead traded Robert Woods to the Tennessee Titans in the 2022 off-season, a new and brief chapter Woods is happy to be leaving behind, based on what he tweeted after his release:

Woods is happy to be out of Tennessee, but a return to LA should be far from inevitable. Meyers is four years younger and two inches taller at 6-foot-2. The 26-year-old possesses many of the attributes that define Woods' game, namely the physicality to be a punishing blocker in space, as well as a go-to target in the red zone.

Meyers showed off his chops as a blocker by clearing two defenders to create a big play for fellow Patriots' wide receiver Nelson Agholor against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. The block was highlighted by Chris Mason of Mass Live News:

Wide receivers comfortable throwing blocks like this have defined the offense called by LA Rams' head coach Sean McVay. Woods used to be his star pupil, not only for blocks in the screen game, but also for his willingness to clear rushing lanes for the Rams' zone-stretch running plays. Meyers has shown a similar appetite for contact as a key edge-setter in New England's power-based ground attack.

Running the football usually becomes tougher closer to the goal-line, where defenses bring bigger bodies onto the field to help roll down the shutters. It's also where teams need receivers who can create separation and body defenders in the end zone. Meyers has the knack, evidenced by this touchdown catch against the Buffalo Bills from Week 18:

These are the things Woods used to do for the Rams. There are other similarities, including Meyers' seemingly modest production with the Pats. He's never tallied more than 866 receiving yards in a single season, but that won't worry McVay. Not when Woods had never exceeded 699 yards with the Bills before recording back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns for the Rams.

Meyers can make a similar statistical jump in McVay's offense. The increased production would justify Snead investing in a player values at $12.5 million per season. Paying that figure will be a tall order for the Rams, given their salary cap issues, but Snead has already begun freeing up cash by releasing inside linebacker Bobby Wagner. Is it worth the investment for a team that already is laying out quite a bit of cash for both WR Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson? Nothing is stopping the Rams from parting ways with Robinson if the potential to upgrade at the position is significant.

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Similar moves should follow, and if the Rams are able to make a splash in free agency this year, it should be for Meyers. Their new Woods.