Recapping the best and worst LA Rams roster moves made in 2023

LA Rams GM Les Snead
LA Rams GM Les Snead / Cindy Ord/GettyImages
4 of 7

The Good

The team's front office took a real leap of faith when the trade of All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins was approved in last year's offseason. In return, the team agreed to a pick in Round 3, plus tight end Hunter Long. Due to an incessant string of injuries, the team has yet to see much action from Hunter Long. Complicating the matter even more, the team's only defense back added via the 2023 NFL Draft was a slot cornerback out of TCU named Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, or Tre Tomlinson for short.

But the team continued to seek help for the secondary, finally settling on adding a former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon near the end of training camp. Witherspoon was a veteran who played four seasons for the San Francisco 49ers before signing on to play two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steeler. He suffered an ACL injury in 2022, which hampered his performance in OTAs and in training camp.

After the Steelers cut him from their roster in favor of younger DBs, the Rams were more than happy to sign him to a veteran minimum.

If not for Dotson's outstanding play, you could make a serious argument for this to be the best player addition to the Rams roster all season. With Witherspoon aboard, the Rams had a true veteran outside cornerback who could be counted on to make playes. And the fact that he stood 6-foot-2 and weighed 195 pounds ensured that the secondary had a pass defender who could look taller NFL receivers in the eye.

Witherspoon recorded 52 tackles, 14 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions. In pure pass defense, he was outstanding, allowing just 48.1 percent of passes thrown hs was to find their target. And let's not forget that he did all of this for just $1.08 million. He will look for a bigger paycheck in 2024. The question is, will the Rams agree to up the ante?