Recapping the best and worst moves of the LA Rams 2024 Free agency

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Worst events

The worst events category ultimately mean mistakes. For that to prove to be a certainty, the players signed or not signed would need to have history to determine whether or not they performed better or worse than expected, and for which team? Since we haven't the benefit of hindsight, we are limited to subjective speculation.

Still, even that can be objective if done properly. In some cases, if the team was aware of contract expirations this offseason, did the team act appropriately? That is, have the Rams addressed roster vacancies adequately? Or has the front office failed to address the void adequately, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, too aggressively? Let's dive in so you see what I mean:

Aaron Donald retires

While many fans were a bit surprised by the news, more and more reports seem to confirm the Rams rumors that the team was aware of Donald's intention to retire as long ago as the end of the 2023 NFL season, if not sooner. That retirement, while completely earned and deserved by Donald, has placed a Grand Canyon-sized chasm in the team's defensive front. And yet, nobody was signed to fill the void yet.

Nobody can replace Aaron Donald. But the team must find a way to absorb his defensive snaps, and to do so with the most productive player(s) possible. If the team has a plan, they have done a remarkable job at hiding it from prying eyes of competing teams. They have done such an outstanding job that even Rams fans have been left in the dark on this one.

Rams commiting huge contract to this backup tight end

The LA Rams know that they will be stuck between a rock and a hard place to start off the 2024 NFL season at the tight end position. With starting TE Tyler Higbee reportedly starting this year on the team's IR/PUP list, no TE Brycen Hopkins on the roster, and huge durability concerns over TE Hunter Long, the team projected to have one dependable tight end, Davis Allen. But the front office signed a new tight end to the roster, Seattle Seahawks TE Colby Parkinson.

The problem is that the team signed him to a deal that rivals that of starting TE Tyler Higbee.

While it makes complete sense to add depth to the tight end position, and to even have a clear plan of succession to address the age and health concerns of the now 31-year-old Higbee, Parkinson has yet to prove himself worthy of a contract for a starting TE. Perhaps Parkinson will grow into that role down the road. But the Rams had the opportunity to incentive Parkinson a bit more for that potential.

Rams fail to extend DBs

After the Rams 2023 NFL season ended, their patchwork secondary proved two things: The starting group of DBs Cobie Durant, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jordan Fuller, John Johnson III, with help from Russ Yeast, Quentin Lake, and Derion Kendrick, were one of the best values in terms of NFL secondaries of the season. Per OTC, the Rams spend less on their secondary than any other team in the NFL

The second point is that the Rams talked to some veterans about bringing them back. So far, the Rams have not extended a single defensive back from the 2023 season. That is a bit puzzling.

Perhaps the Rams have made offers that the player and or player's agent felt was beneath them. Over time, they may be better than nothing. Still, the inactivity over veterans Ahkello Witherspoon (who played quite well for the league minimum in 2023) and John Johnson III is at least a mild shock. I believe that they could be significant contributors in 2024. But that will only happen if they are extended.