Los Angeles Rams Rumors & News

NFL Workout Updates: 11/13/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran Howard Balzer’s Twitter account (unless noted):

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

  • P Chase Tenpenny (link)

Philip Rivers In Concussion Protocol

The Chargers could be without their quarterback this weekend. Coach Anthony Lynn announced tonight that Philip Rivers is in the concussion protocol (via the team’s Twitter account). This would be a tough blow to a Chargers squad that has dropped two in a row.

Philip RiversRivers has been remarkably durable during his 13-year career, as he hasn’t missed a regular season game since taking over as the full-time quarterback in 2006. The 35-year-old also hasn’t shown any major signs that he’s slowing down. In nine games this season, Rivers has completed 60.1-percent of his passes for 2,263 yards, 15 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

If Rivers was forced to miss any time, Kellen Clemens would likely earn the start for the Chargers. The 34-year-old hasn’t had an extended run as a starter since 2013, when he played in 10 games (nine starts) for the Rams. That season, Clemens completed 58.7-percent of his passes for 1,673 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He’s played in 17 games with the Chargers since joining the organization in 2014. The team is also rostering former Bills draft pick Cardale Jones, who appeared in one game with Buffalo last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/11/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed off Chiefs’ practice squad: DT Daniel Ross

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Signed: WR JoJo Natson
  • Waived/injured: DL Ed Stinson

Washington Redskins

Rams Activate RB Lance Dunbar

Gunning for their first playoff spot in 13 years, the Rams will soon have an additional option in their backfield. Los Angeles activated running back Lance Dunbar on Saturday, Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register reports (on Twitter).

Dunbar spent the first half of the season on the PUP list, with knee pain sidelining the former Cowboys passing-down back. Dunbar returned to practice last week, and the Rams didn’t have to make a decision on him just yet due to NFL rules, but he will join Todd Gurley in a blossoming offense beginning in Week 10.

Dunbar will effectively replace Malcolm Brown in the backfield. Brown suffered an injury recently that will shelve him for some time.

The Rams signed Dunbar to a one-year deal in March. He returned from a 2015 ACL tear last season and played in 13 games for the Cowboys. However, Ezekiel Elliott‘s arrival changed Dallas’ backfield arrangement and limited outside opportunities. Gurley could have the same effect on Dunbar in L.A. The Rams have used their starter as a three-down back. But Dunbar returning will at worst provide insurance while outfitting Sean McVay with another weapon in passing situations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/9/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

New England Patriots

Los Angeles Rams

  • LB Zach Vigil (Friday) (link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Rams' Malcolm Brown Suffers Injury

A quick look at the Raiders and Rams:

  • Rams backup running back Malcolm Brown will be “out for a little bit of time” with an injured MCL, as Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com writes. His absence could open the door for Lance Dunbar, currently on PUP, to get back on the field. It’s not yet clear whether Brown will require surgery.

The 10 Best One-Year NFL Contracts Of 2017

Signing a one-year contract is almost never ideal from a player’s perspective — while a single-season pact can often mean a larger salary, it doesn’t come with the security or guarantees that a multi-year deal offers. From a team’s vantage point, however, there’s essentially no such thing as a poor one-year contract. The player doesn’t work out? No problem: he’s off the books in one season and doesn’t hinder the club’s long-term financials.

Not every player listed below was inked with the presumption that they’d become an integral piece of their respective team’s roster, but they’ve all made good on their one-year pacts. Here are the ten best one-year NFL contracts signed in 2017:

Case Keenum, QB (Vikings)

In Week 9 of the 2016 season, Keenum was appearing in his final game as the Rams’ starting quarterback, and had led the club to a 3-5 record while ranking 29th in both quarterback rating and adjusted net yards per pass attempt. Fast forward to the 2017 campaign, and Keenum is 16th in quarterback rating, 11th in ANY/A, and fronting a Vikings team that leads the NFC North at 6-2 — not bad for a one-year, $2MM deal. It’s unclear how long Keenum will remain Minnesota’s starter under center (Teddy Bridgewater is due back next week), but Keenum, who will be 30 years old when free agency opens next spring, has put himself in line to compete for a starting job in 2018, either with the Vikings or with another club.

Josh McCown, QB (Jets)

Although the Jets were thought to be tanking this season, they’ve posted a 4-5 record (a mark that includes close losses to the Dolphins and Falcons), and McCown has been a key driver of that success. Now 38 years old, McCown is posting his best statistics since 2013, and has completed 70.4% of his passes for 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’s been especially productive in the deep passing game, ranking second in touchdowns and third in passer rating on throws of 20 yards or more, per Mike Castiglione of Pro Football Focus. Given his performance and his locker room presence, McCown shouldn’t have any trouble landing another job next offseason.

LeGarrette Blount, RB (Eagles)LeGarrette Blount (Vertical)

While trade acquisition Jay Ajayi figures to take over as the Eagles’ starting running back going forward, Philadelphia has already gotten value out of Blount and his one-year, $1.25MM pact. Blount has handled at least 12 carries in seven of nine games this season while posting a robust 4.6 yards per rush. While he’s scored only two touchdowns thus far, Blount ranks first among all running backs with more than 25 touches with a broken tackle per touch ratio of 39.4%, according to Football Outsiders. The Eagles are the best team in the league right now, meaning they’ll be favored in a majority of their remaining games. Even with Ajayi in tow, positive game scripts should ensure Blount still has a role in Philadelphia’s backfield.

Alshon Jeffery, WR (Eagles)

Following two consecutive down seasons in Chicago, Jeffery took a pillow contract with the Eagles — he’ll collect $9.5MM (and can earn $4.5MM via incentives) before searching for a long-term deal next spring. Jeffery is fresh off his best game of the season, as he posted six receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos’ vaunted pass defense. While he’s still not creating separation — dead last in the league in yards of separation among qualified wideouts — Jeffery and his contested catch ability are nevertheless a large part of the Eagles’ offense. He’s accounted for 35.03% of his club’s air yards (10th in the NFL), per Next Gen Stats, giving quarterback and MVP candidate Carson Wentz a much-needed weapon on the outside.

Alex Okafor, DE (Saints)

After trying the likes of Bobby Richardson and Paul Kruger of the past two seasons, the Saints have finally found a counterpart to Cameron Jordan at defensive end in the form of Okafor, whom New Orleans lured away from Arizona with a $2MM contract. He’s since played more than three-quarters of the Saints’ defensive snaps, racking up 3.5 sacks in the process. Also excellent against the run, Okafor ranks second among 4-3 defensive ends with a 9.5% run stop percentage, per PFF. All told, Okafor has helped the Saints defense rebound to a No. 16 ranking in DVOA and No. 15 ranking in adjusted sack rate (and those numbers are prior to New Orleans’ five-sack performance against the Buccaneers on Sunday).

Julius Peppers, DE (Panthers)

Peppers is back in Carolina following a seven-year hiatus, and the former No. 1 overall pick is playing like it’s still 2008. He’s 37 years old now, so the Panthers are wisely limiting his snaps — he’s seen action on roughly half the club’s defensive plays through nine weeks. Peppers has racked up 7.5 sacks this season, a figure which ranks eighth among defenders this season and places him fourth all-time with 150.5 career sacks. If Carolina earns a postseason berth — FiveThirtyEight gives them a 52% chance to do so — it will be on the strength of the team’s defense, which currently ranks sixth in DVOA.

Zach Brown, LB (Redskins)

Coming off the best season of his career with the Bills in 2016, Brown was surprisingly forced to settle for a one-year, $2MM deal with the Redskins after initially searching for a $6MM/year contract. And that’s not due to lack of interest, as Oakland, Miami, Indianapolis, and Buffalo all expressed interest in the veteran linebacker before he landed with Washington. Several of those clubs (we’re looking at you, Raiders) would certainly love to have a defender of Brown’s caliber and price available right now. A playmaking machine who embodies a 21st-century linebacker, Brown should be able to land a multi-year pact next offseason, when he’ll still be only 28 years old.

Morris Claiborne, CB (Jets)Morris Claiborne (Vertical)

The Jets’ offseason was primarily dedicated to getting rid of veteran players, but general manager Mike Maccagnan‘s small-scale signings have worked out well, as Claiborne joins McCown as the second Gang Green addition on this list. Claiborne, 27, has always been an effective player when healthy, but injuries have often marred his performance. He’s never played an entire 16-game slate, and he’s managed more than 11 games just once during his five-plus year career. Like Brown, Claiborne can use 2017 as his platform season in order to secure a multi-year deal in 2018 — as long as stays healthy for the rest of this year, that is.

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB (Rams)

A perfectly-named slot corner, Robey-Coleman was shockingly cut loose by the Bills earlier this year despite ranking as PFF’s No. 33 cornerback in 2016 and being on par to earn just $2.083MM in 2017. The Rams scooped him up on a one-year deal worth the minimum salary, and he’s been outstanding under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, helping Los Angeles to a No. 3 ranking in pass defense DVOA. Thus far, the 25-year-old Robey-Coleman ranks third among 64 qualified cornerbacks in success rate, per Football Outsiders.

Patrick Robinson, CB (Eagles)

While the Eagles certainly have leaned on their excellent young corps on the way to a 8-1 record, general manager Howie Roseman should be lauded for his one-year, cost-effective signings of Robinson, Jeffery, and Blount. Cast off by the Colts one year into a three-year deal, Robinson signed with Philadelphia for the minimum salary and has since become the Eagles’ best cornerback. Pro Football Focus ranks the former first-round pick as the No. 4 corner in the league, and Robinson is allowing only 56.3% of targets in his area to be caught. While Robinson may not be able to parlay his production into a hefty deal in 2018 given that he’ll be 31 years old when next season gets underway, he’s been a superb addition for the Eagles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/6/17

Today’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/5/17

Today’s minor moves:

Green Bay Packers

  • Promoted to active roster: CB Donatello Brown
  • Placed on injured reserve: S Kentrell Brice

Los Angeles Rams

Oakland Raiders

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/17

Today’s minor moves:

Houston Texans

  • Waived: G Dorian Johnson

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

 

Today’s practice squad updates:

Philadelphia Eagles