FREE AGENCY! The Rams have been busy during free agency as they try to cut salaries and improve the roster at the same time. The two big signings were OT Andrew Whitworth from Cincinnati and WR Robert Woods from Buffalo. Those two additions should help the offense; however, I like the signing of LB Connor Barwin and CB Kayvon Webster, both players have experience in DC Wade Phillips system and should help the transition to the 3-4 scheme the Rams will run in 2017. HC Sean McVay and GM Les Snead cut OL Tim Barnes and TE Lance Kendricks to create salary cap space and the Rams lost WR Kenny Britt and WR Brian Quick in free agency. Let’s take a look at the current Fantasy positions with impact from free agency.
QB: QB Jared Goff is being counted on to improve in year two and be the franchise quarterback this team desperately needs. QB Sean Mannion is currently slated to be the backup. The Rams recently signed QB Aaron Murray, a 2014 fifth round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs and he will be given a chance to be the number three quarterback.
RB: RB Todd Gurley should benefit from the offensive additions and will hopefully bounce back from his disappointing 2016 season. The Rams lost Benny Cunningham to free agency but signed former Cowboy RB Lance Dunbar so he will compete with RB Malcom Brown and RB Aaron Green.
WR: The receiving corps will take on a new look in 20017 with the addition of WR Robert Wood and the departures of Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. WR Tavon Austin will need to step up and earn his big contract. WR Bradley Marquez will compete with second year receivers WR Pharoh Cooper, WR Mike Thomas, WR Nelson Spruce, and WR Paul McRoberts for playing time behind Woods and Austin.
TE: Lance Kendricks was cut in a cost saving move so TE Cory Harkey and second year players TE Tyler Higbee and TE Temarrick Hemingway are the only tight ends on the roster. The Rams have not signed anyone else so they might be looking at the tight end position in the draft since the tight end class is deep.
K: PK Greg Zuerlein recently signed a three year contract so he will be the kicker for the foreseeable future and will hopefully improve on a good 2016 season.
DEF: The additions of LB Connor Barwin and CB Kayvon Webster should help DC Wade Phillips and his 3-4 defense. The Rams franchised CB Trumaine Johnson for a second year in a row; however, there has been talk that the Rams might trade him for draft picks. Free agent SS T.J. McDonald is still unsigned and it is unlikely that he returns. The Rams traded DE William Hayes to the Dolphins to save cap space and improve draft position. The Rams also tendered DT Dominique Easley so hopefully returns and they recently signed DT Tyrunn Walker for depth. They are also working on an extension for superstar DT Aaron Donald so hopefully they can get that done.
The Rams appear to be making wise decisions in free agency and will hopefully fill their other gaps in the draft. It is a very exciting off-season in Los Angeles. Next month we will do a preview of the Draft. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!