Rams Rumors

Could Rams Trade For OBJ?

Florio also wonders if the already star-studded Rams could reignite their OBJ pursuit. Brandin Cooks seems to have the WR1 position covered, but they could theoretically put together a package with draft capital and a receiver like Robert Woods to make a strong offer.

Rams Promote Shane Waldron, Jedd Fisch

After losing former quarterbacks Zac Taylor (who was formally announced as the Bengals’ new head coach last week), the Rams are re-shuffling their offensive staff. Shane Waldron will be promoted from tight ends coach to quarterbacks coach while retaining his title as Los Angeles’ passing game coordinator, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter links). Meanwhile, senior offensive assistant Jedd Fisch will be named assistant coordinator/offense.

How much these changes will actually affect the day-to-day — and game-to-game — operations for the Rams’ offense is unclear. Head coach Sean McVay will continue to call offensive plays, and Los Angeles still hasn’t formally replaced former offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur since he left for Tennessee following the 2017 season.

But the moves are considered steps-up. As Breer notes in indicating Waldron will keep his passing game coordinator title, Waldron is merely shifting his position of focus — he’ll be as involved in the Rams’ offense as he ever was, if not more so. Waldron, who has also spent NFL time with the Patriots and Redskins, interviewed for Cincinnati’s head coaching vacancy earlier this year but lost out to his ex-coworker Taylor.

Fisch, meanwhile, now has a title that sounds the closest to “offensive coordinator” of anyone on the Rams’ staff. The Jaguars’ OC from 2013-14, Fisch joined Los Angeles in 2018 and serves as the club’s clock management specialist. He interviewed for the head coaching job at Temple University earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Pair Up Wade Phillips, Wes Phillips

The Rams will bring in Wade Phillips‘ son to be part of their offensive staff. Wes Phillips will move from the nation’s capital to Los Angeles, with Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reporting (on Twitter) the former Redskins tight ends coach will take over that position with the Rams. This move was rumored prior to Super Bowl LIII, and it will come to fruition. The father-son tandem has not been on the same staff since Wade’s days as Cowboys head coach. Wes Phillips’ move west will likely coincide with Rams tight ends coach Shane Waldron focusing on his duties as passing game coordinator and Jedd Fisch shifting to quarterbacks coach.

  • While the Rams are hiring their defensive coordinator’s son, the Patriots are expected to add the son of former executive Mike Lombardi. Mick Lombardi is expected to be one of Bill Belichick‘s new hires, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter). The Patriots employed the younger Lombardi from 2011-12; he served as the Jets’ assistant quarterbacks coach the past two seasons. New England just lost assistant QBs coach Jerry Schuplinski to Miami.

Bengals Granted Permission To Interview Aubrey Pleasant

The Bengals requested permission to interview Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant for defensive coordinator last week, and Cincinnati has now been granted that opportunity, according to Vincent Bosnignore of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link). Pleasant, regarded as a rising star in the coaching ranks, worked for the Browns and Redskins before joining Los Angeles in 2017. The Bengals’ DC job is the only vacant coordinator position remaining in the NFL, and a number of candidates (Dom Capers, Jack Del Rio, Dennis Allen) have bowed out of the running to become a top aide to head coach Zac Taylor. Other coaches who have been linked to the job include Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan, former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, Florida DC Todd Grantham, and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn.

Latest On Rams' Offseason Plans

  • Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic examines how the Rams might address some of their biggest needs this offseason. The club is projected to have about $41MM in salary cap space, and Bonsignore suggests that LA must find a dominant edge rusher to take some pressure off of Aaron Donald. Luckily, this year’s draft features quite a bit of pass rushing talent if the Rams choose to steer clear of the pricey free agent market for edge defenders.
  • Todd Gurley will obviously be back with the Rams, but given his history of knee problems, and the impact that his most recent knee injury had on the team’s playoff run, Bonsignore says LA will think long and hard about adding another back to share the load (we learned last week that the club is interested in bringing back C.J. Anderson). He also suggests that the Rams could bring back Ndamukong Suh on a two-year deal, and that Mark Barron could be a cap casualty.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 2/8/19

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2019 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers

Rams Re-Sign QB Brandon Allen

The Rams re-signed the practice squad quarterback Brandon Allen, according to the NFL’s transactions wire. In a related move, the club also re-signed offensive tackle Darrell Williams

Allen spent the year on the Rams’ practice squad but was with the club for the bulk of the 2017 season on their main roster. Like many QBs on the fringe, Allen has yet to throw a pass in a real NFL game.

Depending on how the rest of the offseason shakes out, Allen may have an opportunity to stick on the 53-man roster. As of this writing, he’s the only other QB on the roster outside of starter Jared Goff. Sean Mannion, last year’s No. 2 QB, will be a free agent in March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Cast Wide Net In DC Search

The Bengals are casting a wide net in their search for a defensive coordinator and other defensive staffers, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The club is expected to request (or has requested) interviews with former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, Florida DC Todd Grantham, and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn.

The Bengals made an offer to veteran coach Dom Capers this week, but he turned them down and is now believed to be Miami-bound. Capers, 68, would have given the Bengals a Rams replica of sorts as he would have supported 33-year-old head coach Zac Taylor. The Bengals also flirted with former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, an indication they would prefer a veteran counterweight to Taylor.

Outside of Grantham, however, the coaches they’re now considering are on the younger side of 50. That could indicate a change in philosophy for Cincinnati. Or, it could be a case of the old adage – beggars can’t be choosers.

As previously reported, the Bengals also requested an interview with Rams DB coach Aubrey Pleasant.

Rodger Saffold Addresses Free Agency

Rams left guard Rodger Saffold wants to return to Los Angeles in 2019, but the pending free agent also acknowledged the reality of the open market. “I don’t think that it’s any surprise to people to know that I want to be back,” Saffold said Tuesday, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com. “At the end of the day, though, I need to make sure that it’s something fair for me… something I can use and feel that I was treated fair.” Saffold, 30, just wrapped a five-year, $31.722MM contract with the Rams and is the most accomplished guard scheduled to hit free agency next month. While Los Angeles has roughly $35MM in cap space, the club also has several other free agents — Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler, and Lamarcus Joyner among them — whom it may want to re-sign. Saffold could potentially take precedent given that the Rams’ offensive line, which ranked top-six in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, was critical to their run as NFC champions.

  • In case you missed it, the Bengals want to interview Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant for their defensive coordinator job.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 2/6/19

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2019 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

  • RB Martez Carter