The 2020 NFL Free Agency tampering period has finally begun and there have already been a flurry of moves throughout the NFL. So far, it has been pretty quiet for the Rams, but there are already rumors swirling around that they are trying to move RB Todd Gurley at all costs.
Whatever happens over the next 24 hours, week, etc., keep it right here on LAFB Network for all the updates and analysis on all transactions. We will be updating this article throughout the process!
LA Rams 2020 Free Agency Tracker
The first moves of the free agency period for the Rams are in, and while not glamorous, still have an impact.
The Exclusive Rights Tender was used on Tight End Johnny Mundt. Mundt is a great blocking tight end and is utilized in the run game. Could see a lot more 12-personnel next season.
The Exclusive Rights Tender was used on Center Coleman Shelton. Shelton adds depth at the center position.
Rams tender exclusive rights free agents Johnny Mundt and Coleman Shelton
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 17, 2020
While those might not be the most exciting tenders, in true Les Snead shock and “not so awe,” in this case, fashion, it was just announced that the Rams would not exercise the option of Nickell Robey-Coleman’s 2020 contract. Robey-Coleman has been a solid contributor to the defense and is the team’s true slot corner. It seems that with the arrival of Brandon Staley, the defense is getting a full overhaul. Some of that by choice and some of that due to lack of cap space. The Rams will save $4.5 million this season.
The team will not exercise 2020 contract option for Nickell Robey-Coleman.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 17, 2020
Center/Guard Austin Blythe will be returning to the Rams on a one-year deal. Blythe began the year at Guard last year before moving to Center when Brian Allen went down with an injury. He has been a stable entity to the offensive line that has seen a lot of changes. He has only missed one game in three years with the Rams.
Welcome back, @ABlythe63!
We've agreed to terms with Austin Blythe.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 18, 2020
And then it finally happened. The move that Rams fans have been waiting for. Michael Brockers was signed by the Ravens. Bummer. Cory Littleton was signed by the Raiders. Huge loss. Dante Fowler signed with the Falcons. Are the Rams bringing no one back?
Moments after the Fowler news broke, it was announced that the Rams had signed former Chicago Bears pass-rusher Leonard Floyd.
Former Bears' pass rusher Leonard Floyd is signing a one-year, $10 million worth up to $13 with the Rams, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2020
It’s another one-year deal but will be $3-$6 million cheaper than what Fowler signed for, and the production could end up being very similar. Floyd played for DC Brandon Staley when he was the LB Coach in Chicago under Vic Fangio. Great signing.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020
Big Whit isn’t going anywhere! The stalwart LT is returning to the Rams on a 3-year deal. It’s a little bit surprising considering his age (38), that they would sign a 3-year deal, but I am sure it is performance-based and there will be a team option. At any rate, this should be the last contract that Whitworth signs and he will surely retire a Ram.
This was a very important move for the offensive line that had documented struggles last year. They still have a lot of work to do, but Whitworth is the veteran leader that can get things going in the right direction again.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2020
The Detroit Lions are a team that seems to be rebuilding their entire defensive unit. Defensive Tackle A’Shawn Robinson becomes a casualty to this, to the delight of the Rams.
At 6’4 320, Robinson will most likely play the NT next to Aaron Donald, in a rotation with Greg Gaines. Robinson had 49 tackles in 2018, and 40 tackles last season. He was drafted in the second round out of Alabama and has been a solid force in the middle stopping the run.
The Rams still have a ton of question marks at the linebacker position and defensive end, but this at least shores up the interior of the line. While a good player, and a need, roughly $8.5 million per season is a bit steep when there are still so many holes to fill. This again shows how difficult free agency can be when you are so strapped for cash. Overall, I like the player, but the contract may be a bit high.
It has been well documented that the Rams have been shopping RB Todd Gurley and his rather large contract. Well, there were no suitors and the difficult decision came to fruition on Thursday.
Rams are releasing RB Todd Gurley, per source. Cutting him today spares the Rams from having to pay him an additional $10.5 million due today. Rams spent weeks exploring a trade for him. Now Gurley will be free to sign with any team.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2020
Gurley is still guaranteed over $7 million for this season, but another $10.5 million would have kicked in had the team not moved him before 1 pm PT today. The Rams are clearly trying to do anything possible to aid their cap problem but was this the right decision? Will they roll into 2020 with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson as their only two backs? Still plenty of questions.
And then just moments later, the Rams announced that they would be releasing Clay Matthews as well.
#Rams are also releasing LB Clay Matthews, source says
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 19, 2020
This was rather shocking news as he only had one-year left on his deal, and was rather productive last season when he was healthy. He finished with 37 tackles and eight sacks. This is just another move to free up some cap space, while also reshaping the defense for new DC Brandon Staley.