New Cornerback Ranking Makes Los Angeles Rams Free Agent Addition Look Like a Steal

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The re-addition of Darious Williams to the Los Angeles Rams this offseason felt like putting on a comfy old cardigan. But after the latest Pro Football Focus cornerback rankings, it now feels like finding a $100 bill in the pocket of that sweater.

Did the Los Angeles Rams Land the Steal of Free Agency?

PFF ranked Williams as the 11th-best cornerback in the league, one spot better than L’Jarius Sneed. Yes. The same Sneed that just signed with the Tennessee Titans for $76.4 million over the next four years. Williams on the other hand, signed a three-year, $22.5 million contract with the Rams.

Of course, Rams fans have come to recognize those naked contract numbers as completely arbitrary, but the figure that brings the rubber to the road is how the contract affects the salary cap. William’s contract will account for 1.3 percent of the cap and tops out next season at 3.5 percent. Sneed’s on the other hand represents 3.8 percent of the cap this season and balloons to 9.2 percent next season.

Sneed is taking up almost three times the cap space, and according to PFF at least, isn’t quite as good as Williams.

PFF on Darious Williams

“Williams has been one of the league’s best at preventing separation for several years now, but the grades finally caught up with him in 2023,” writes John Kosko, “His 85.3 coverage grade ranked tied for fifth among his peers, and now he returns to Los Angeles, where he posted an 81.9 grade in 2019 and an 81.5 grade in 2020.”

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Who was the better bet?

That said, Williams doesn’t come back to LA without question marks. He just turned 31 years old and has seen wild swings in his level of play. He is coming off the unquestioned best season of his career, but the question must be asked; was that just a flash in the pan?

Sneed has been a much more consistent operator and at just 27 years old could still have room to improve. The question for Sneed is, can he improve enough to deserve elite cornerback money?

Considering that both cornerbacks come with real question marks, the Rams seem to have made the smarter bet of the two teams.

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