Only 2 Rams players have signed with new teams. Why such a slow pace?

Rob Havenstein, Coleman Shelton, Steve Avila, Los Angeles Rams
Rob Havenstein, Coleman Shelton, Steve Avila, Los Angeles Rams / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

While the 2024 NFL season is still only days old, the pace at which Rams players are signing with new teams is not as rapid as previous seasons. That is a bit surprising to me. While the team finished with a record of 10-7, the appetite for former LA Rams players seems to have diminished quite a bit. Could it be the string of bad luck that former players have on their new teams? I don't think that's quite it.

For every Allen Robinson who struggles with a new team, there is a Baker Mayfield who hits the jackpot with a new team and lands a huge new contract. NFL GMs know that there is a risk/reward to every NFL player, and factor that in with contract language or compensation. So what could the slow pace be attributed to this season?

I suspect the players who did sign elsewhere did so after the Rams opted to go in a different direction. Coleman Shelton signed with the Chicago Bears, but only after the team added former Detroit Lions left guard Jonah Jackson, making the move of Steve Avila from left guard to center a done deal.

In the same manner, Rams DB Jordan Fuller did not sign with the Carolina Panthers until the Rams signed Washington Commanders DB Kamren Curl.

I won't lie, I was one of the most persistent voices in Coleman Shelton's corner. But even I can see that an interior offensive line composed of Jonah Jackson-Steve Avila-Kevin Dotson could be the best interior trio in the NFL in 2024. With a chance to upgrade, I can see why the Rams pulled the trigger.

In the world of professional sports, there is no relaxation. If you want to play, you have to compete. It may be a difficult burden to sustain, but that is the nature of the game.

So too is the parting sweet sorrow for Jordan Fuller. Of 63 regular season games, he appeared in 48 over his four-year career. He gave his all, but like many players, durability is as important as any quality. The Rams lost Fuller for almost the entire 2022 NFL season.

Still, the point is that players are not rushing out of this Rams team. In both cases so far, it was not until the Rams made a move that players accepted that the path to return was not happening, and opted to sign elsewhere.

As fans seem to be struggling with the chances for success in 2024, it's just one more breadcrumb of evidence to keep you on the right path. Players are accepting discounts to play for the Rams in 2024. Now, this bit of evidence suggests that players are leaving reluctantly.

The Rams are going to have a solid season. The team was 3-6 in 2023 before getting hot. Now this team simply has to keep the positive momentum going.

I, for one, believe that they can.