Rams free agency: Dotson's dilemma pivots on going for bank or bling

The Rams experience with former FA OLB Von Miller has left me realizing that free agents determine their own destiny, and must choose between bank or bling when free agency finally arrives.

Kevin Dotson, Los Angeles Rams
Kevin Dotson, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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II: Go for the bling

At some point in an NFL player's career, money is no longer enough, There is working for a paycheck, and then there is the career that becomes fun, the type of employment where you laugh on the job, wake up before the morning alarm chimes, and the overall culture that goes beyond co-workers and teammates, and crosses the border into friendships and family.

You might think that the demands of the NFL might make creating friendships and family in the sport more difficult, but the opposite is true. Coaches and teammates have to develop rapid trust in one another, and as such open themselves up to creating new friendships and bonds forged on the practice field and in the locker room.

Money is one thing, but achievement and job satisfaction are real motivators as well. It will be tough for Kevin Dotson to view the LA Rams football team as anything short of a Super Bowl-caliber team in 2024. And that lends itself to the other road not taken in terms of his career path.

There is always the instant gratification motivation of going for the biggest paycheck. But Von Miller opted to go for the most guaranteed money, but has been a bust for the Buffalo Bills. He has one more year on his current contract, but neither he nor the Bills front office can be pleased with how events have played out for him.

Kevin Dotson is the right fit for the LA Rams offense, and it was apparent almost as soon as he took over the starting role at right guard. He has earned high praise from the coaches and teammates, and veteran right tackle Rob Havenstein has even lobbied hard for the team to extend Dotson. That drops the clues of just how well he is appreciated and respected in the locker room right now.

The Rams are a team that is back in the playoffs. And they should be viewed as a team that is capable of another Super Bowl appearance. That is not always the highest priority for free agents, but perhaps it should be. Money always seems to find players who earn a Super Bowl rint. But Super Bowl rings seldom seem to find players who chase big stacks of Benjamins.

I have no doubt in my mind that the Rams will make a fair offer to extend Kevin Dotson. But it will not be up to the Rams whether he stays or goes. That decision will ultimately be up to Kevin Dotson himself, and which path ultimately appeals to him.