When it comes to the LA Rams defense, this has been a better than expected secondary so far. While it's a far cry from perfect, or even from an NFL Top-5 passing defense, the Rams are absolutely getting their money's worth. Per Spotrac.com, the LA Rams are spending just $10.1 million on defensive backs. That is the least of any other NFL team, and is a full $2.6 million less than the next team, the Arizona Cardinals.
Do you get what you pay for? Well, not so far as the LA Rams are concerned. Not only has the team tightened the pursestrings for defensive backs, but this team is not exactly rolling with Day 1 draft selections in the secondary either.
And that is a true testament to Coach Aubrey Pleasant and Coach Jimmy Lake.
What will the LA Rams do about DB Derion Kendrick?
But not all is well with the team's secondary. You see, the Rams have a situation that will likely linger for some time. DB Derion Kendrick was arrested and charged after the LA Rams' Week 6 win. To date, the NFL has not weighed in on any disciplinary action. In the face of no officially sanctioned direction, the LA Rams have the leeway to act or not act as the team sees fit.
And as of now, the LA Rams have not ruled out allowing DB Derion Kendrick to play in Week 7:
Of course, that could change. And even if the Rams are a bit relaxed and forgiving, the NFL reserves the authority to supercede any team directed corrective action. But for now, the Rams appear to be leaning to playing Derion Kendrick in Week 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers:
The question is: What is the right course of action here? DB Derion Kendrick is just 23 years old, and is competing in just his second NFL season. Young players frequently have lapses in judgement, and no matter how the Rams rule in this instance, it is a verdict that the team must be willing to uphold and deliver consistently.,
With a young roster, instructing players how to conduct themselves off the field is every bit as important as drilling them how to make plays on the football field. Perhaps even more importantly. On a football field, there will be an officiating crew that will deliberate and flag rules violations instantly.
Off the football field, the officiating crew is the jury of public sentiment. And that is not a jury that I would recommend entrusting to get it right.
Life happens, and I get that. And I personally do not have any convictions or insight as to the best path for the LA Rams or the NFL to take in this case. But I do know that the LA Rams and the NFL have a problem after Derion Kendrick's arrest. There is the matter of waiting, watching, and waiting their turn to weigh in as well. However the Rams handle this matter, someone is bound to disagree.
The LA Rams have to hope that the number of fans who are dissatisfied with the outcome is a small number.