This simple move can be one of the wisest moves that the Rams made

Not every Rams free agency signing has to be a game-changer. Sometimes a modest rotational player added can place the team over the top.

Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Life can be complex at times. And yet, sometimes the best action is to take no action. For the LA Rams, the complexity of reforming another season's roster can be as enigmatic as solving a Rubik's Cube puzzle for the first time. And yet, it doesn't need to be. Sometimes, the simplest signing can be the one that puts the team over the top.

In baseball, you can try to build a roster that scores runs one of two ways: You can bring in the big guns who swing for the fences, clobbering opposing teams with a salvo of home runs. Or, you can take a simpler approach. Build a roster that can get on base, and let the walks, singles, doubles, and occasional tripe or home run power the offense.

And yet, to baseball fans, the higher batting average, on-base percentage route is seldom considered.

The LA Rams may not get a standing ovation from the latest signing. Bringing back DT Larrell Murchison on a one-year deal won't excite everyone, but it's a simple move that truly takes the edge off of the team's DL depth.

And the opportunities for larger roles for defensive linemen in 2024 cannot be overstated:

I talked about the lack of attention that the Rams have given the defensive front so far, and particularly in light of how shallow the defensive line had grown. Much of the Rams spending in the 2024 NFL Free Agency market has happened, and yet the team's three-man defensive line only had three players on the roster. Well, four if you factor in players brought back on Reserve/Future contracts.

The Rams need depth, and they need to find it quickly. When mentioning the projected loss of DT Larrell Muchison, I did not pull any punches. It seemed incredibly foolish for the team to allow Murchison to walk away uncontested from a group that had already lost Aaron Donald to retirement and Jonah Williams to the Minnesota Vikings:

"The loss of defensive tackle Larrell Murchison to an expired contract needs not to happen. This young man is 6-foot-2, weighs 297 pounds, and knows the team, his teammates, the coaches, and best of all, knows the defense. He played 252 defensive snaps for the Rams in 2023, 25 percent of the team's total defensive snaps. With that amount of work, he generated 16 tackles, one tackle for a loss, and did not miss a tackle. Is he worth bringing back? I think so. He may not be a Pro Bowler, but he does add capable depth to the defensive line. Right now, that is a step in the right direction."

Bret Stuter

As a result, the Rams front office has taken that step in the right direction.

The Rams have other option to take for minimum investment. I believe that returning OLB Michael Hoecht back to the defensive line is a wise strategy to consider. By doing so, the team maintains Hoecht's 6.0 QB sacks on this defense, gets him out of the business of placing him in pass coverage, and opens up the roster slot for another outside linebacker.

Another option of minimal investment is to re-sign former Rams DT Marquise Copeland. He also knows the team, and he could be a vital rotational player in 2024 as well.

Extending Larrell Murchison for one more year is a low-risk high-reward maneuver that paid off in 2023. I love the idea of the team giving a guy who started three games in 2023 a chance for more starts this year.

Much like offensive linemen in the first five seasons of Sean McVay's tenure with the team, the team has gotten into a suspicious habit of allowing promising defensive linemen to rise through the ranks and sign larger contracts elsewhere. As long as the team had DL Coach Eric Henderson on staff, the team was certain to have more young players added during or after the draft who would be talented enough to replenish the ranks.

Without Coach Henny to develop them and without Aaron Donald to mentor them, the team will need to hit the pause button on letting defensive linemen walk away for the time being.

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