Why LA Rams latest FA signing is very positive news

Pittsburgh Steelers Ahkello Witherspoon
Pittsburgh Steelers Ahkello Witherspoon / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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LA Rams free agency Rams roster Ahkello Witherspoon
Pittsburgh Steelers Ahkello Witherspoon / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Silver lining I: Witherspoon has played for physical defenses

While Ahkello Witherspoon has yet to find a home to compete for the rest of his NFL playing days, he certainly has appeared on the roster of some pretty physical defenses. Not just appeared, but started, for those teams. Much like trying to change professions, an NFL defense that wants to change its outlook and reputation is wise to sign players who have that mindset and ferocity baked in.

No, Witherspoon's arrival does not suddenly upgrade the LA Rams defense. Truth be told, he may not even end up as the starter at the beginning of the 2023 NFL season, and is even less likely to be the team's starter at the end of the season. But he is a player who has seen his share of NFL offenses, knows NFL quarterbacks, and has played multiple years on teams that have had success preparing for and competing in the NFL.

That all has to count for something.

Don't discount the value of a mentor

Witherspoon, even as he arrives and learns the Rams' defensive playbook, coaches, and teammates, instantly becomes one more veteran mentor who can share his wisdom and perspective with younger Rams. When it comes to defensive backs, the Rams have safety Jordan Fuller (entering his fourth season) and cornerback Robert Rochell (entering his third season). Add their NFL experience together and that equals the experience of Witherspoon.

And lastly, added as an afterthought, I don't know how much of a difference Witherspoon can make in terms of improving the Rams chances of success this season. Will his ball-hawking skills show up on game day, and deliver a crushing blow to the Rams opponent? Or is he merely a sage veteran, added to facilitate getting the timeline of the Rams training camp back on track to a required pace? I don't have the answer to that question.

If Witherspoon pans out (and I think he will), the Rams will have a veteran who will help them bridge the gap of the 2023 NFL season, setting the stage for a more prepared Rams roster for 2024 and beyond.

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Sometimes, it's not just what the guy puts on the football field, but what he adds to the locker room. I believe that the Rams will get more than their money's worth out of Ahkello Witherspoon. How do you feel about his signing?