Los Angeles Rams Rumors & News

Sean McVay Will Have Draft Input

  • Although general manager Les Snead will make the final call on draft day, new Rams head coach Sean McVay and his staff will play a large role in setting the team’s board, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter links). Los Angeles has needs all over the roster, but won’t make a selection until Round Two after trading the farm for Jared Goff in 2016. Under McVay and new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Rams will be running new schemes on both sides of the ball, meaning communication between the field staff and the front office will be crucial as the draft approaches.

T.J. McDonald Suspended For Eight Games

Free agent safety T.J. McDonald has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2017 season, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter links). McDonald, he adds, just had his first free agent visit with the Dolphins. The suspension stems his May 2016 DUI arrest, which included drug charges (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). T.J. McDonald (vertical)

McDonald is ranked as our No. 1 available safety in free agency and is one of the highest-ranked players remaining on my Top 50 Free Agents list, which ranked players based on projected earning power. Apparently, McDonald won’t be making anywhere near what we expected, thanks in part to the pending ban.

McDonald, a hard hitting defensive back, has been a starter for the Rams in each of the last four seasons. This year, he hit free agency and the Rams did not show any interest in re-signing him.

In 2016, McDonald had 62 total tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and six passes defensed. He graded out as as Pro Football Focus’ 58th best safety in the NFL last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Looking To Acquire Center

  • On the heels of their unsuccessful attempt to swipe center Ryan Groy from the Bills, the Rams continue to look for a solution at the position, reports Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. The Rams want an experienced pivot to team with young quarterback Jared Goff, and they’re scouring the trade and free agent markets to acquire one (Nick Mangold is available, for what it’s worth). Aside from possibly signing a center, the Rams are all but done with free agency, Gonzalez adds.

Rams Hire Tyrone McKenzie As ST Assistant

  • The Rams have hired Tyrone McKenzie as a special teams assistant to work under John Fassel, per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. The 31-year-old McKenzie isn’t far removed from his career as an NFL linebacker, which ran from 2009-13 with the the New England, Tampa Bay and Minnesota organizations. He’s familiar with the Rams, having assisted with their outside linebackers and special teams players last summer, Gonzalez notes.

Robert Woods' Contract Frontloaded

  • Breer views that the five-year deals for Robert Woods and Stacy McGee authorized by the Rams and Redskins, respectively, are essentially one-year pacts. Woods saw $10MM of the $34MM deal fully guaranteed at signing, per OverTheCap. He has $5MM due on the third day of the 2018 league year. Nothing is guaranteed for the former Bills complementary target past Year 2. Breer sees McGee’s Washington accord as a one-year, $6.5MM deal.

Connor Barwin Praises Wade Phillips

Connor Barwin‘s decision to sign with the Rams last week came thanks in part to the presence of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the edge rusher told the Associated Press. “Wade did a lot for me in the two years I was with Houston,” said Barwin, who played under Phillips as a Texan from 2011-12. “He taught me so much about being a pro, enjoying being around the game every single day, and he really elevated my game as a pass rusher.” Barwin only hit free agency in the first place because the Eagles released him, which came after he rejected a pay cut. While the 30-year-old said in December he’d be open to reducing his $7.5MM salary for 2017 to remain with the Eagles, their offer was “far below” what he thought he’d get on the market, per the AP. Ultimately, the Rams gave Barwin a one-year deal worth a max of $6.5MM.

Rams Sign Tyrunn Walker

The Rams have signed free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link).

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Los Angeles will be the third NFL destination for the 27-year-old Walker, who spent the first three seasons of his career in New Orleans and the previous two in Detroit. Walker has totaled 42 appearances, and the majority of his 13 career starts (eight) came last season. Walker tallied 26 tackles and played 34.1 percent of the Lions’ defensive snaps in 2016, and ranked a below-average 77th among Pro Football Focus’ 127 qualified interior D-linemen.

With the Rams, Walker figures to provide established depth to a line in need of it. The Rams entered Thursday with the untested Louis Trinca-Pasat as their top backup to starting nose tackle Michael Brockers. Trinca-Pasat hasn’t played a defensive snap since joining the Rams as an undrafted free agent from Iowa.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kayvon Webster Believes He Has A Chance To Start

  • New Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster believes he’ll “definitely” have a chance to start opposite Trumaine Johnson (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez). Right now, Gonzalez believes he’ll have a leg-up over E.J. Gaines thanks to his familiarity with Wade Phillips‘ system. Webster said he would also like to contribute on special teams, depending on how much work he gets on defense.

    [SOURCE LINK]

Rams Host John Sullivan On Visit

The Rams’ effort to pry a center away from the Bills via RFA offer sheet did not work after Buffalo matched Los Angeles’ Ryan Groy offer. But the team continues to look for available snappers. The Rams brought in John Sullivan on a visit today, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports.

Sullivan played under new Rams HC Sean McVay last season in Washington after signing in late September. The former longtime Vikings starter, though, served as a Redskins backup to Spencer Long. Now 31, Sullivan started just one game with the Redskins after being the Vikes’ starter from 2009-15.

However, Sullivan saw a back injury alter his career. Signed to a Vikings extension in April of 2015, Sullivan underwent a lumbar microdiscectomy procedure that September and then suffered a setback in his recovery, missing the entire ’15 season. The Vikings placed Sullivan on the trade block last year before cutting him and going with the older Joe Berger at center. Sullivan started 93 of 96 Vikings games from 2009-14, with the 2012 season obviously serving as one of the best rushing slates in NFL history once Adrian Peterson finished with 2,097 yards.

Sullivan has not been connected to any teams as a UFA in 2017 prior to this Rams visit. The Rams have only Demetrius Rhaney as a pure center on their roster presently. The Rams cut 2015-16 starter Tim Barnes earlier this month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Taylor, Cook, Willson

The latest contract details from around the NFL:

  • Tyrod Taylor, QB (Bills): Taylor earns an additional $500K if the Bills make it to the divisional round of the playoffs in 2017, which becomes $1MM if they advance to the AFC Championship, and $2MM if they advance to the Super Bowl. The same package of incentives applies to 2018 (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).
  • Jared Cook, TE (Raiders): Two years, $10.6MM, $1.6MM in incentives (effectively a one-year $5.3MM deal with $800K in incentives) (Twitter link via Ben Volin of The Boston Globe).
  • Luke Willson, TE (Seahawks): One year, $1.8MM, $1MM in incentives (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle).
  • Kayvon Webster, CB (Rams): Two years, $7.75MM. Salaries of $2.75MM (guaranteed), $3MM. $1MM 2017 roster bonus guaranteed, $500K 2018 roster bonus guaranteed. (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Sean Spence, LB (Colts): One year, $2.5MM. $750K signing bonus. $500K in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Kendall Wright, WR (Bears): One year, $2MM. $250K signing bonus. $2MM in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).