NFL News & Analysis

2017 Free Agency Preview: Los Angeles Rams

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16: Kicker Greg Zuerlein #4 of the Los Angeles Rams kicks off the football during an NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 16, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Rams 31-28. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

[Editor’s note: This preview was originally published on Feb. 27, 2017, and updated on March 6 to reflect changes in the market do to franchise tags, re-signings, cuts, etc.]

What you need to know

The Rams clearly need to do a better job of protecting second-year quarterback Jared Goff as well as to surround him with weapons. As a result, the Rams should look to address their offensive line and their wide receiver corps either in free agency or the draft.

Salary cap room

$20,274,280 (22nd in NFL; as of 3/6/2017)

Biggest needs

  • Wide receiver
  • Tackle
  • Guard
  • Cornerback

Notable free agents

  • Kenny Britt, WR, 76.5
  • Brian Quick, WR, 61.1
  • Case Keenum, QB, 49.6
  • Greg Zuerlein, K

Must re-sign

Greg Zuerlein, K

Zuerlein has been the Rams most consistent point-scorer in the last few years. Zuerlein’s leg can turn many stalled Rams’ drives into three points and with the Rams’ offense still a bit away from being productive, keeping Zuerlein in house will be hugely beneficial to the team.

Dream splash

DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins, 77.0 overall rating in 2016

This year’s crop of free agent wide receivers isn’t exactly loaded with premium young talent, but productive players can still be found. Jackson still has as an ability to separate and get open as well as the speed to be a deep threat. The Rams’ offense could use an injection of speed and playmaking ability like Jackson’s.

Top 2017 free agency prospects

Andrew Whitworth, T, Cincinnati Bengals, 91.3

While Whitworth isn’t exactly a young building block for an offensive line he is a shining example of pass-blocking consistency. Whitworth graded above-average as a pass-blocker in all 16 games last season for the Bengals and in every season since 2006. If the Rams were able to bring in a pass-protecting left tackle the caliber of Whitworth they could move Greg Robinson inside to guard and improve at multiple positions simultaneously.

T.J. Lang, G, Green Bay Packers, 87.0

Few things would be better for Jared Goff’s protection and development than adding one of the NFL’s premier pass-blocking guards. Lang’s 92.9 pass-blocking grade ranked No. 2 among all guards in 2016 and he did not allow a single sack or QB hit on 659 pass-blocking snaps last season. Signing Lang would instantly give Goff more time in the pocket to operate the Rams’ new offense.

Pierre Garçon, WR, Washington Redskins, 85.8

The Rams were already short on talented pass-catchers and are now poised to lose their best wide receiver to free agency in Kenny Britt. Garçon could help teach younger receivers on the roster as well as give Goff a veteran presence he can rely on at the position. Garçon also has experience in new Rams’ head coach Sean McVay’s offense from their time together in Washington. Goff excels at throwing to the intermediate level (10-19 yards downfield) with touch and accuracy and Garçon showed he can still be a factor at the intermediate part of the field by catching 23 passes at that range in 2016.

2017 Free Agency Rankings
Top 50 free agents
Every 2017 free agent ranked by 2016 overall grade
10 free agents who can make an immediate impact
10 veteran free agents worth a one-year contract
10 sleeper free agents who could bring surprise upside
10 splash free-agent signings we’d like to see
Quarterback rankings
Running back rankings
Wide receiver rankings
Tight end rankings
Offensive linemen rankings
Edge defender rankings
Interior defender rankings
Cornerback rankings
Safety rankings
Linebacker rankings

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