When the LA Rams traded back in the 2023 NFL Draft to pick up a pick in Round 4, the thought at the time was that the Rams were positioning themselves to add depth to the offensive line, secondary, or defensive front. Instead, the Rams used the 128th overall pick in Round 4 of the 2023 NFL Draft (via a trade with the New York Giants) to select Quarterback Stetson Bennett from the University of Georgia.
Bennett hit the ground running. He raised some eyebrows in OTAs, and he downright impressed coaches and spectators in the 2023 Rams training camp. His debut for the LA Rams in the first preseason game was far better than expected, which prompted excessive optimism for the young man's future in the NFL.
His second preseason game was a bit more flawed. But in his third and final preseason game, he struggled mightily, and was replaced by veteran QB Brett Rypien. Still, the Rams coaching staff remained committed to him as the backup for the 2023 NFL season. But in Week 1, Bennett was inactive due to a previously unannounced shoulder injury. The next week, he was place on the Non-Football Injury Injured Reserve list, with no ETR (estimated time of return) and few details about why he was placed on IR.
Six weeks into the 2023 NFL season, we explored the Stetson Bennett matter, not to speculate at Bennett's expense, but to squelch the far-fetched rumors that sprang up in forums and on social media in the absence of hard information. We revisited the topic on multiple occasions, as the rumors about Bennett continued to propagate, some even concluding that the LA Rams had secretly cut the young quarterback from the roster.
I believe that Stetson Bennett will be back in 2024, and cited 5 reasons why it makes sense for the LA Rams to invest in him next season. But even as the LA Rams end their 2023 season, say farewell to the players, and begin the multitude of preparations needed to conduct the start of the 2024 NFL season without a hitch, there are no solid reports about Stetson Bennett even to this day.
At least, nothing that LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is willing or able to share:
So what is the answer to the most basic of questions? Will LA Rams backup quarterback Stetson Bennett be back in 2024?
Right now, Stetson Bennett is under contract with the LA Rams through the 2026 NFL season. Until that changes, whether by action of the team or the player, that is the reality. Does the current situation create unforeseen challenges for the LA Rams' efforts to restock the Rams roster for 2024? Perhaps. But that really depends on what the team knows, and what they are not sharing about Bennett right now.
From the fans perspective, Stetson Bennett benefitted from a full offseason program with the LA Rams in 2023. And he should be considered to be on track to return to the Rams football program with OTAs and through the 2024 Rams Training Camp. If Bennett fails to maintain a football-ready physique or mindset, that may disqualify him from participating in 2024.
But he showed plenty of grit and proficiency with the LA Rams in 2023. Better still, we witness what a dual-threat NFL QB can do in the Rams offense by the performance of veteran QB Carson Wentz in Week 18.
Wentz is going to cost a pretty penny to re-sign with the LA Rams for 2024 and beyond. The Rams already have QB Stetson Bennett under contract. Don't be shocked if the Rams opt to give Stetson Bennett a mulligan for 2023, and another shot at quarterbacking for the Rams next season