If you are nervous about the state of the LA Rams roster, particularly on the defensive front, you have cause to be. This is the toughest part of the LA Rams entire 2023 NFL season, the darkness of disappointment as the Rams shed key contributors in their quest to reset the entire team, and once everything is stripped down, to reassemble the Rams roster once more.
With just 44 players under contract, and just $11 million to spend, this is not the Rams front office playing possum, or waiting to spring into action when the price of NFL veteran players falls to ridiculously low levels. The LA Rams ran aground in 2022, a team that miscalculated on the players invested in, their fit, the coaches ability to develop them, and the ability of the entire organization to pivot from party to preparation. The Rams reloaded their 2022 roster with veterans who were very accomplished, but did not fit their roster model. When it came to the 2022 NFL Draft, the Rams did not have a single selection among the first 100 players selected.
The Rams roster pruning has been going on for months
Does parting of ways with key players disappoint you? Well, this is a patter that has been happening for nearly seven months now, as the team released a promising OLB Chris Garrett in August 2022, and have never looked back.
The Rams roster has been adept in the past at identifying and acquiring elite NFL players, and then swelling the roster with complementary young contributors who would balance out the financial picture, but produce enough to keep this team winning. Elite players were paid by the LA Rams. Young players rose through the ranks and signed lucrative contracts to play elsewhere. In return, the Rams were awarded compensatory picks to refill the pipeline and start all over again.
But the Rams front office and the needs of the team's roster fell out of alignment in 2022. The offensive line depth was too shallow, the defensive backs were too raw, and the Rams pass rush was simply too ineffective. And so, the Rams organization has made the decision to reboot the roster. What does that mean?