With the emergence of former No. 1 pick Jared Goff and NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, the Rams, who already flexed a Top 10 NFC defense in 2018 became one of the most well-balanced teams in the NFL.
Sean McVays Young squad started to bloom offensively last season as they went 11-5 and won the NFC West for the first time since 2003.
The Rams D was led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who signed the largest deal for a defensive player in NFL history on Friday and is officially in the fold. If that was the only move the Rams made all offseason it would still rank among the Top 3 along with Aaron Rodgers and OBJs massive extensions. Each player is considered to be the best at their respective positions and invaluable to the championship goal of the franchise.
Aaron Donald is getting the well-deserved pay day. https://t.co/R31DRLiQGQ
Some folks are very high on the Rams and others consider 2017 a fluke. Regardless of how you feel about the Rams, the organizations willingness to spend money and take chances on some big name free agents in order to complete the championship puzzle, while also creating one of the more attractive defenses in recent memory (on paper) cant be dismissed.
The league has taken notice and if the Rams can get some help from their linebackers, most NFL minds believe that they could easily leap into the Top 5 elite defenses in the NFL — or higher.
Via Matt Bowen of ESPN:
The Rams took a win-now approach in the offseason, opting for the veteran trade market and free agency to add key pieces to Wade Phillips defensive unit. Yes, the lack of proven edge rushers and second-level defenders should be brought into this discussion. I get it. However, with the additions of cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib via trades along with placing the franchise tag on versatile safety Lamarcus Joyner the L.A. secondary looks legit. Thats a ball-hawking unit, a physical group with the ability to play man coverage, challenge routes and finish. Love it. Lock those receivers down and let the boys up front hunt the QB. Plus, with the Rams landing Ndamukong Suh in free agency, L.A. can pair the veteran defensive tackle with All-Pro Aaron Donald. That gives L.A. two disruptors in the middle of the defense who can also put those linebackers in a position to run free. Read, react and track the ball. The way I see it, this is a unit with the talent and the upside to make a sizable leap in 2018.
If not the best, LA has assembled the dirtiest, grittiest defense in the NFL. Trying to move the ball against this defense, which will be lead by OG defensive guru Wade Phillips, will be like trying to keep Tekashi69 and Cardi B off the Billboard charts.
Aqib Talib has long been considered one of the NFLs elite antagonists, lockdown corners and a ball-hawk.
Aqib Talib headed to Broncos– Talib has 23 career interceptions, the 6th-most in the NFL since his rookie season in 2008.
He always wants the smoke.
Full Broncos Raiders fight More Fights from this season: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtgKfr6wMuev9RfhDD1_gqygh5BjadX6r More Crabtree videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtgKfr6wMueuYC2Afbx13djh5woSJOSgr More Talib videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtgKfr6wMuevOV5PfwWpREnOfOeLkUQOQ
Marcus Peters made the Pro Bowl his first two years with the Kansas City Chiefs and is considered an elite NFL cornerback in the prime of his career.
Including the playoffs, Marcus Peters has 21 career interceptions. 7 more than any other player since 2015. Only Ed Reed (22) has more interceptions than Marcus Peters (21) in the first 3 seasons of a player’s career in the last 25 seasons (inc. playoffs)
Sam Shields still has some solid football left in him and his championship experience and ballhawk skills will impact the Rams in the locker room and on the field.
Sam Shields has 23 ints in 91 career games. Marcus Peters has 21 ints in 49 career games. Rams are hunting for takeaways this offseason. https://t.co/f74Ifz2Ppe
Ndamukong Suh is the Wildcard. Hes always had Hall of Fame talent, but his antics wore thin on a Detroit franchise that couldnt seem to get out of its own way and his two years in Miami were pretty much a disaster. Or vacation. However you want to put it. The five-time Pro Bowlers production dipped in 2017 as he recorded his lowest tackle total since 2012 (29) and his lowest sack total (4.5) since 2011. Lining up alongside Donald will provide Suh with an opportunity to be single-teamed and if he is inspired, the potential of having those two QB killers working in unison is frightening.
Defense will be the name of the game for the Rams this season and if the offense can take that next step then we could be looking at something special brewing in LA and they arent wearing Black and Silver.
Rams offseason: Ndamukong Suh: 1-yr, $14M Acquire Aqib Talib Acquire Marcus Peters Acquire Brandin Cooks & sign him to 5-yr, $80M deal Extend Todd Gurley w/ 4-yr, $60M deal Extend Aaron Donald w/ 6-yr, $135M deal Extend Rob Havenstein w/ 4-yr, $32M deal Sign Sam Shields