Steady pace to restock the Rams roster continues, as team extends this tender offer

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Sean McVay / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

What is needed to create real value on the LA Rams roster? Is it solely production no matter what the cost? Is it purely cost, no matter what the production? Or is the ultimate value created in a sweet-spot somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, when a player is able to put up solid production for the team, or filling a vial role, all the while going easy on the purse strings.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents are any players whose contracts are 'expiring and he has no more than two accrued seasons in the NFL (an accrued season is a season with at least six games on the 90-man roster or one game this year if they were on the team's opening week roster)' as per the free agency website Over the Neither we nor fans need to calculate who might be categorized as ERFAs for this offseason, as the team's website has already done so:

Entering this offseason, there are just two ERFAs on expiring contracts:

  • RB Ronnie Rivers
  • KR/PR/WR Austin Trammell.

But after today, the number of ERFAs has dwindled to just one player:

The Rams have reported that they have tendered their required offer to ERFA RB Ronnie Rivers. So what is so special about RB Ronnie Rivers to place him at the head of the line? (Well, after WR Demarcus Robinson, that is)

III: He is an inexpensive player

Because running back Ronnie Rivers is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, the team need only make a one-year contract offer for the minimum salary to trigger the inherent protections of this category. In essence, tendering a one-year contract at the NFL minimum of $985,000 is enough to invoke the Rams exclusive rights to Rivers. Now, he has two options, either sign his contract with the team, or sit out a season.

II: Rams coaches love him

There is always that one or two player whose effort and willingness to compete draws the admiration of the coaching staff and teammates, and running back Ronnie Rives is such a player. Desite standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 195 pounds, Rivers is a sneaky solid offensive weapon in this offense, and is far more versatile than a first impression may indicate.

He only played 93 offensive snaps for the team in 2023. But of those opportunities, he rushed with the football 32 times for 129 yards, zero touchdowns, and four first downs. But he is also quite adept as a receiver, hauling in five of five passes for 22 yards. His limits in the offense are born out of opportunity, and not effort.

I: He is an ideal backup to feature RB Kyren Williams

The team features RB Kyren Williams, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 194 pounds. While there is no reasonable chance that Rivers will usurp Williams as the lead runner, he does make an ideal backup for Williams. With similar size, style, and versatility, coaches can stick with one playbook for either player, and not worry about tweaking the emphasis of plays to adopt to a different player skillset.

Rivers would have been drafted for far more work in 2023, but he was injured at the same time that Williams was sent to IR, which compelled the team to sign former RB Darrell Henderson Jr. The likelihood of that same scenario playing out in 2024 feels unlikely.

Former Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers is an ideal re-signing for the team. He is affordable, harbors great passion for the game, is a solid fit in this offense, and we have not begun to see the limits to this young man's potential on the football field.

Ronnie Rivers has a natural role on the Rams roster as Kyren Williams' understudy. But if conditions are right, he could very well step out from behind anyone's shadow and begin to earn a bit of the spotlight for himself this year.