Rams Keep The Winning Going Amid Better Offseason Than Rest Of NFC West

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It’s must be awesome to be the Los Angeles Rams.

Forget for a moment that they had the best season of any NFL franchise in 2021 because that was them raising the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium last February.

Forget for a moment that coach Sean McVay overcame coach burnout and decided quite quickly to return in 2022 to “run it back,” as he stated at the team’s victory parade.

Forget for a moment that Matt Stafford will be in McVay’s offense for a second consecutive year and he’s not likely to regress with added experience.

The Rams have been quite solid this offseason.

No, they haven’t re-signed Odell Beckham Jr. but they added free agent Allen Robinson and, believe it or not, still hold out hope Beckham Jr. might return once he’s further along in his knee rehabilitation.

Yes, they lost pass rusher Von Miller to the Buffalo Bills in free agency, but they added linebacker Bobby Wagner to patrol the middle of their defense and that should upgrade both their run and pass defense on the second level.

And then there’s the Rams’ NFC West rivals.

They’re something of a mess since the season ended.


The San Francisco 49ers finished behind the Rams in the division and played Los Angeles in the NFC Championship game. How’s their offseason been?

Well, receiver Deebo Samuel requested a trade because he was unhappy and wants a new contract, which he still hasn’t gotten. So not all smiles there.

Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was nearly traded until he had shoulder surgery and his status remains uncertain until he begins throwing again so he can finally be traded.

That means second-year veteran Trey Lance is about to take the reins of the offense with no one knowing if he’s going to be an upgrade or not.

The Seattle Seahawks? Seriously?

They’re worse than they were on the last day of the 2021 season and all one has to do is see that is remember quarterback Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos and coach Pete Carroll has had to muster excitement about either Drew Lock or Geno Smith being his starter.

Wagner, meanwhile, went from being the heart and soul of the Seattle defense to, yeah, the Rams.

And then there’s the Arizona Cardinals who lost their best pass rusher in Chandler Jones and have been managing what at times has been a rocky relationship with quarterback Kyler Murray because he wanted a contract extension done already, and already has come and gone without an extension being signed.

ESPN recently did a look at the teams that took a step backward this offseason and the Cardinals, Seahawks and Niners were all among those teams.

So how does that bode for the Rams as they chase their first goal of 2022 — winning their division — en route to defending their Super Bowl championship?

It looks pretty good.

The truth is there is only one obstacle short of injuries that could sidetrack the Rams from once again being the class of their division in 2022 and it has to do with their best player: Aaron Donald.

Donald, 31, flirted with retirement after the Super Bowl. And by all appearances he’s set to return for a chance to earn another championship.

Even though he has passed on attending the Rams’ voluntary OTA practices, he has been working out in Pittsburgh in preparation for the 2022 season.

Donald is also under contract through the 2024 season. But both the Rams and he have acknowledged a reworked contract that one league source said would make him the highest paid defensive player in the game is being worked on.

It’s not right to say Donald may decide to retire if that reworked deal doesn’t happen by training camp but that would be a setback for all the parties involved. That’s why both sides would prefer it get done so as to not become a distraction.

And if that happens, consider it a continuation of the Rams winning offseason winning streak.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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