Solid reasons why Rams are painted into corner over ILB Ernest Jones extension

The Rams are painted into the corner over extending Ernest Jones. But why have they deliberately chosen to put themselves into this position?
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams ILB Ernest Jones
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams ILB Ernest Jones / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages
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The best is yet to come

The skyrocketing productive progress of Jones in the Rams defense has been one the loudest whispers of the NFL. From a modest rookie season of semi-starting, he has erupted into a raging volcano of defensive destruction, closing out the 2023 season with 145 tackles, 4.5 quarterback sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, and six quarterback hits in just 15 games. If he suits up for all 17 games in 2024, the upside is likely to top 180 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, 5.5 quarterback sacks, and eight quarterback hits.

Those are Pro Bowl numbers, if not All-Pro numbers.

Too optimistic for you? Jones enjoyed a 27 percent improvement from 2022 to 2023, while competing in two fewer games. At that pace, he is well on his way to putting up those massive numbers.

And why not? The four-year veteran has played alongside and learned from NFL greats like DB Jalen Ramsey, DT Aaron Donald, OLB Von Miller, and ILB Bobby Wagner. They are arguably the best NFL defenders of this era, and they have all had their turn to mentor, teach, and show Jones what it takes to reach and remain atop the NFL on the defensive side of the football.

Now, Ernest Jones is taking aim at becoming the best version of himself.

That's great timing, because not other player on this defense can lead this group. Either the players are too young, or they are seasoned veterans arriving from other teams, or they simply have not held the type of dominating presence on the football field that everyone else looks up to.

This is the year of Ernest Jones. Don't just believe me. That is how the LA Rams have acted this entire offseason already.