Rams Rumors

Rams, Matthew Stafford Reach Contract Resolution

Rams head coach Sean McVay announced on Tuesday that an agreement has been reached with Matthew Stafford on a new contract. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback will be in attendance at training camp.

McVay did not go into specifics with respect to financial terms, but he noted (via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo) today’s agreement is not an extension. As a result, Stafford remains under contract through the 2026 campaign. Only one more year remained on the pact with guaranteed salary, so this restructure presumably includes new locked in compensation.

It became known during the draft that Stafford was seeking guarantees beyond 2024. The 36-year-old delivered a healthy and productive season last year, putting to rest thoughts of a trade sending him out of Los Angeles or (for at least the time being) speculation about retirement. McVay confirmed Stafford would remain in place for the coming campaign atop the QB depth chart after the team’s postseason exit. That will be the case for 2024 and potentially beyond, depending on the structure of the new arrangement.

Stafford’s camp had been in communication with the Rams about a resolution, so today’s update comes as little surprise. The latest report on the matter indicated the longtime Lions signal-caller would not engage in a training camp holdout even if a deal had not been agreed to. That has now become a moot point, and team and player will turn their attention to the 2024 season.

The Rams’ youth movement at a number of positions led to lessened expectations last year, but Stafford helped guide the team to the wild-card round. Taking one or more steps further than that in 2024 would prove his $31MM salary to be worthwhile, and staying healthy would make today’s investment in his finances for 2025 and/or ’26 a reasonable decision as well. The details of today’s move will be worth watching for as the Rams prepare for life after Aaron Donald on the field and from a financial perspective.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/23/24

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: OT Julién Davenport

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

  • Reverted to IR: WR Jared Wayne
  • Released from IR: WR Jaxon Janke

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Largest 2024 Cap Hits: Offense

The NFL’s salary cap ceiling was expected to see a large increase this offseason, but estimates proved to be on the low side. A record-setting jump resulted in a cap of $255.4MM for teams to work with.

That has resulted in new waves of spending at a few positions, with quarterbacks and receivers seeing continued growth at the top of the market. Last offseason offered a strong chance of the league seeing at least one $40MM-plus cap charge, but the Browns avoided such a scenario with a Deshaun Watson restructure. Owing to that move – and the lack of further adjustments this spring – however, Watson’s financial impact is set to grow considerably this season.

Here are the league’s top cap charges on offense leading up to training camp:

  1. Deshaun WatsonQB (Browns): $63.77MM
  2. Dak PrescottQB (Cowboys): $55.13MM
  3. Matthew StaffordQB (Rams): $49.5MM
  4. Kyler MurrayQB (Cardinals): $49.12MM
  5. Daniel JonesQB (Giants): $47.86MM
  6. Patrick MahomesQB (Chiefs): 37.01MM
  7. Lamar JacksonQB (Ravens): $32.4MM
  8. Trent WilliamsLT (49ers): $31.57MM
  9. Tyreek HillWR (Dolphins): $31.32MM
  10. Josh AllenQB (Bills): $30.36MM
  11. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $29.78MM
  12. Taylor MotonRT (Panthers): $29.75MM
  13. Joe BurrowQB (Bengals): $29.55MM
  14. Deebo SamuelWR (49ers): $28.63MM
  15. Chris GodwinWR (Buccaneers): $27.53MM
  16. Jared GoffQB (Lions): $27.21MM
  17. Joe ThuneyLG (Chiefs): $26.97MM
  18. Geno SmithQB (Seahawks): $26.4MM
  19. Laremy TunsilLT (Texans): $25.86MM
  20. Davante AdamsWR (Raiders): $25.35MM
  21. Quenton NelsonLG (Colts): $25.2MM
  22. Kirk CousinsQB (Falcons): $25MM
  23. Jawaan TaylorRT (Chiefs): $24.73MM
  24. D.K. Metcalf, WR (Seahawks): $24.5MM
  25. Christian KirkWR (Jaguars): $24.24MM

Watson’s figure will shatter the NFL record for the largest single-season cap charge if no adjustments are made in the coming weeks. The hits for Prescott, Murray, Stafford and Jones also would have set a new benchmark if not for the Browns passer, a sign of the QB market’s continued upward trajectory. Cleveland is set to remain in a similar situation for the next three years as Watson plays out his fully guaranteed $230MM deal.

Prescott’s future is one of several important questions the Cowboys need to answer relatively soon. With CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons due for second contracts, an extension for the three-time Pro Bowler will need to take into account future commitments. While Prescott has considerable leverage (via no-tag and no-trade clauses), he joins Jones in facing an uncertain post-2024 future in the NFC East.

The latter saw the Giants make an effort to trade up for a quarterback in April and he reacted in an understandable manner. Jones’ $40MM-per-year 2023 extension remains the dominant storyline surrounding the team, and a decision on retaining him or moving on will need to be made prior to a potential out early next offseason. Murray’s performance this fall will likewise be worth watching; he has received consistent praise from head coach Jonathan Gannon, but he will aim to put together a fully healthy season following 2023’s truncated campaign.

Stafford and the Rams have a mutual desire to continue their relationship, but he is seeking guarantees beyond the 2024 campaign. The 36-year-old’s representatives have been in discussion on a resolution during the offseason, although even in the absence of one a training camp holdout is not expected. The likes of Mahomes, Jackson and Allen retain a place in the top 25, and the same will no doubt be true of Burrow for years to come.

Of the receivers listed, only Hill is known to be actively pursuing a new deal. The 30-year-old once led the receiver market with a $30MM AAV, a figure inflated by non-guaranteed money at the end of the pact. With the bar having been raised to new heights this offseason, Hill could join teammate Jaylen Waddle in securing a new payday. Since the team has a Tua Tagovailoa extension on the horizon, however, Miami could hesitate on the Hill front.

It come as little surprise that Williams tops the list for offensive linemen. The 11-time Pro Bowler has been mentioned in retirement rumors before, but playing to age 40 is now a goal. Meeting it could require future contract adjustments. Samuel’s future in the Bay Area was a talking point this offseason as the team attempts to keep Brandon Aiyuk in the fold. One of the high-profile wideouts may be playing for a new team for the first time in their career in 2025.

Elsewhere along the O-line, Moton and Taylor demonstrate the value seen at the right tackle spot in recent years. Given the developments of the guard market this offseason, though, the likes of Thuney and Nelson will have competition for spots on the list in future years. Similarly, the non-Hill wideouts could easily be surpassed in the future with a further additions set to be made (particularly by Lamb, Aiyuk and Ja’Marr Chase) at the top of the ever-increasing market.

Goff joined the $50MM-per-year club on his third NFL deal, whereas Cousins continued to add to his impressive NFL earnings by joining the Falcons. If healthy, the latter could prove to be an effective pickup for a team aiming to return to the postseason (while quieting questions about a transition to Michael Penix Jr. under center). Smith also has plenty riding on this season with a new Seahawks coaching staff in place which incrementally arrived at the decision he will serve as the starter in 2024.

2024 Offseason In Review Series

As training camps near, the NFL offseason is winding down. Many unresolved matters remain — much of them pertaining to quarterbacks and wide receivers — but teams’ rosters are mostly set. Leading up to Week 1, PFR will continue to add to its annual Offseason In Review series. Here is where our latest offseason examinations stand so far:

AFC East

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

AFC North

AFC South

AFC West

NFC East

NFC North

NFC South

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West

Rams Re-Sign S John Johnson

JULY 11: Johnson will receive a slight raise for 2024, with USA Today’s Howard Balzer indicating his latest Rams contract is a one-year, $1.38MM accord. The Rams are guaranteeing Johnson $750K. This obviously pales in comparison to the eight-figure-per-year Browns contract Johnson inked in 2021, but he has settled in as a role player during his second Rams stint.

JULY 4: The Rams made the move to reunite with John Johnson last year, bringing the former Super Bowl LIII starter back midway through training camp. Working on a holiday, the club again moved to keep Johnson in the fold.

Johnson re-signed with the Rams on Thursday, the team announced. He will join some new safeties in L.A., most notably Kamren Curl. With Thursday’s agreement poised to extend Johnson’s second Rams stint to two years, this will be his sixth season with the team.

After the Browns cut bait on Johnson’s three-year, $33MM deal in 2023, he played in every Rams game last season. The 2017 third-round pick made eight starts and lined up with Los Angeles’ first-stringers in the team’s narrow wild-card loss in Detroit. Going into his age-28 season, Johnson will vie for another regular role at a position group that has seen some offseason updates.

As they did with Johnson three years ago, the Rams let safety starter Jordan Fuller walk in free agency. The Day 3 find wound up with the Panthers. The Rams replaced him with Curl, who signed a modest contract (two years, $9MM) despite being one of the top free agent DBs available. Curl’s contract overlaps with Russ Yeast‘s rookie deal. With both Curl and Yeast signed through 2025, Los Angeles also added Kamren Kinchens in the third round. Despite Fuller’s exit, Johnson returns to a more crowded group.

Johnson played 574 defensive snaps last season, making 42 tackles and intercepting two passes. Pro Football Focus ranked Johnson 77th at the position, however, and no free agency rumors followed the Boston College alum this offseason. Johnson played for just $1.1MM last season; it stands to reason his third Rams contract comes in at a similar rate.

Commanding the three-year Cleveland commitment in 2021, Johnson delivered good value for a Rams team that needed to keep hitting on later-round draft choices due to the lack of first-round picks available and high-priced contracts flooding the top of the payroll. Chosen in Sean McVay‘s first offseason in L.A., Johnson started 48 games from 2017-20. While the 2018 NFC championship game is better known for a missed pass interference call, Johnson keyed the team’s route to the Super Bowl by intercepting an overtime Drew Brees pass.

Johnson was initially one of the starters the Rams were comfortable parting with to afford their high-end contracts, but after the veteran DB tumbled off the eight-figure-per-year level, he has settled in as a role player back with his original team.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

The NFL’s general manager ranks featured some key shakeups this offseason. One of the longest-tenured pure GMs in the game, Tom Telesco, lost his Chargers seat 11 years in. The Raiders, however, gave Telesco a second chance. He now controls the Las Vegas roster. Only Telesco and the Jaguars’ Trent Baalke reside as second-chance GMs currently.

Two long-serving personnel bosses also exited this offseason. The Patriots’ decision to move on from 24-year HC Bill Belichick gave Jerod Mayo a head coaching opportunity but also resulted in Eliot Wolf belatedly rising to the top of the team’s front office hierarchy. A former Packers and Browns exec, Wolf held decision-making power through the draft and kept it on an official basis soon after. While John Schneider arrived in Seattle with Pete Carroll in 2010, the latter held final say. Following Carroll’s ouster after 14 seasons, Schneider has full control.

[RELATED: The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches]

The Commanders changed GMs this offseason, hiring ex-San Francisco staffer Adam Peters, but Martin Mayhew received merely a demotion. The three-year Washington GM, who worked alongside Peters with the 49ers, is now in place as a senior personnel exec advising Peters. Rather than look outside the organization, Panthers owner David Tepper replaced Scott Fitterer with Dan Morgan, who had previously worked as the team’s assistant GM.

Going into his 23rd season running the Saints, Mickey Loomis remains the NFL’s longest-serving pure GM. This will mark the veteran exec’s third season without Sean Payton. An eight-year gap now exists between Loomis and the NFL’s second-longest-tenured pure GM.

As the offseason winds down, here is how the league’s 32 GM jobs look:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  4. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  5. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010[3]; signed extension in 2022
  6. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2022
  7. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  8. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  9. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  10. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  11. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  12. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2024
  13. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018; agreed to extension in 2022
  14. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  15. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  16. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020: signed extension in 2024
  17. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  18. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  19. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021: agreed to extension in 2024
  20. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  21. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  22. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  23. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  24. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  25. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022
  26. Monti Ossenfort (Arizona Cardinals): January 16, 2023
  27. Ran Carthon (Tennessee Titans): January 17, 2023
  28. Adam Peters (Washington Commanders): January 12, 2024
  29. Dan Morgan (Carolina Panthers): January 22, 2024
  30. Tom Telesco (Las Vegas Raiders): January 23, 2024
  31. Joe Hortiz (Los Angeles Chargers): January 29, 2024
  32. Eliot Wolf (New England Patriots): May 11, 2024

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. The Eagles bumped Roseman from the top decision-making post in 2015, giving Chip Kelly personnel power. Roseman was reinstated upon Kelly’s December 2015 firing.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

Following 2023’s five-team coaching carousel, this offseason featured a quarter of the jobs becoming available. One HC-needy team (New England) did not put its position on the market, promoting Jerod Mayo, but the rest did. The Patriots’ decision also produced the first shakeup among the league’s longest-tenured head coach list since 2013.

Since the Eagles fired Andy Reid, Bill Belichick‘s Patriots HC stint had run the longest. After a 4-13 season, the six-time Super Bowl-winning leader was moved out of the picture. No team hired Belichick, generating a wave of rumors, and only one (Atlanta) brought him in for an official interview. While Belichick should be expected to take at least one more run at a third-chance HC gig, Mike Tomlin rises into the top spot on this list.

Tomlin is going into his 18th season with the Steelers, and while he has surpassed Bill Cowher for longevity, the steady leader still has a ways to go to reach Chuck Noll‘s 23-season Pittsburgh benchmark. Tomlin, 52, enters the 2024 season 17-for-17 in non-losing seasons, separating himself from his predecessors in that regard.

Belichick’s ouster brought far more attention, but his Patriots predecessor also slid out of the HC ranks after a 14-year Seattle stay. Pete Carroll‘s third HC shot elevated the Seahawks to their franchise peak. No Hawks HC comes close to Carroll’s duration, and while the Super Bowl winner was interested in remaining a head coach, no team interviewed the 72-year-old sideline staple.

Belichick and Carroll’s exits leave only Tomlin, John Harbaugh and Reid as coaches who have been in place at least 10 years. With Mike Vrabel also booted this offseason, only eight HCs have held their current jobs since the 2010s. A few 2017 hires, however, stand out; Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Sean McDermott have now each signed multiple extensions. Now riding back-to-back Super Bowl wins, Reid joined Tomlin in signing an offseason extension.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2024 season:

  1. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2027
  2. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  3. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2029
  4. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  5. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2027
  6. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  8. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  9. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  10. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020; signed offseason extension
  11. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  12. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021; extended through 2027
  13. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  14. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  15. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  16. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  17. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  18. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  19. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  20. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  21. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  22. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  23. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  24. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023
  25. Jerod Mayo (New England Patriots): January 12, 2024
  26. Antonio Pierce (Las Vegas Raiders): January 19, 2024
  27. Brian Callahan (Tennessee Titans): January 22, 2024
  28. Jim Harbaugh (Los Angeles Chargers): January 24, 2024
  29. Dave Canales (Carolina Panthers): January 25, 2024
  30. Raheem Morris (Atlanta Falcons): January 25, 2024
  31. Mike Macdonald (Seattle Seahawks): January 31, 2024
  32. Dan Quinn (Washington Commanders): February 1, 2024

Latest On Rams CB Tre’Davious White

Tre’Davious White saw his time with the Bills come to an end this offseason, setting up an eventual one-year flier he agreed to with the Rams. The former All-Pro corner’s health will be worth monitoring as the rest of the 2024 offseason unfolds.

White – who was limited to 10 games across the past two seasons – suffered an Achilles tear in October, adding to his list of major injuries. That led to his Buffalo release and obviously hurt his market value. The 29-year-old signed a one-year Rams deal worth a base value of $4.25MM.

Spring workouts provided Los Angeles with the opportunity to evaluate White’s progress in terms of recovery. He spent most of OTAs working with trainers off to the side of practices, although he was able to take part in a walkthrough during the final week of the voluntary workouts. Whether or not the two-time Pro Bowler will be available to practice in pads during training camp remains to be seen.

“He’s making good progress,” head coach Sean McVay recently said of White (via the team’s website). “He was able to partake in the walkthrough. It’s obviously a significant injury that he’s overcome. He’s gotten a lot of good stuff done on the side… As far as what his actual process will be in training camp, we’ll see where he’s at. He does such a great job, understands his body, and so I don’t think we want to pigeonhole ourselves into one approach.”

The Rams brought back Darious Williams in free agency, and his $7.5MM-per-year pact is the team’s most lucrative one at the cornerback spot. Los Angeles also has the likes of Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick and Tre Tomlinson in the fold as starting options. If healthy, White should be able to hold down a first-team role on his new team, though, something which would have financial implications for him. The LSU alum’s 2024 earnings will increase to $8.5MM if he logs a defensive snap share of 60% or higher.

Of course, a strong showing in Los Angeles would set White up for either a lucrative re-signing or a market of outside suitors in free agency next offseason. For now, attention will remain on his Week 1 availability and how he performs when he is on the field,

Rejected Rams Proposal Affected Panthers’ Extension Talks With Brian Burns

One of the bigger trade what-ifs during this NFL period occurred before the 2022 deadline, when the Panthers turned down a monster Rams offer for Brian Burns. While the Rams shifted into a retooling mode — with a greater interest on rookie contracts — as their Super Bowl LVI title defense skidded off track, the fallout from the failed pursuit affected the Panthers.

Serious Carolina-Burns extension talks did not commence until 2023, but the Pro Bowl edge rusher effectively held the failed trade against the Panthers, who turned down an offer that turned out to be much better than the one they ended up accepting from the Giants. Los Angeles offered two first-round picks and a third for Burns; Carolina ultimately accepted a second-rounder and a swap of fifths from New York.

[RELATED: Giants Impacted Panthers’ Trade-Up For RB Jonathon Brooks]

Once the Panthers rejected the Rams’ proposal in October 2022, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes the tone of his talks with Carolina did not improve. While Burns would have followed Von Miller and Dante Fowler as edge pieces sent to L.A. at a trade deadline, the Carolina edge stood in a position to be extended. It is unclear if the Rams had a deal ready to go, however, and Burns’ asking price ended up too high for the Panthers. Miller was in his age-32 season when the Rams acquired him, and Fowler had not performed on Burns’ level; the Rams acquiring a 25-year-old Pro Bowler would have separated that prospective trade from the Miller and Fowler swaps.

Although the Panthers were believed to be preparing for a Burns extension during the 2022 offseason, talks did not pick up until June 2023. By the time discussions did move into high gear, then-GM Scott Fitterer — empowered after the October 2022 Matt Rhule firing — had both rejected the Rams’ offer and kept their top sack artist out of the March 2023 trade with the Bears that sent the No. 1 overall pick to Carolina.

Before pivoting to D.J. Moore, the Bears asked about Burns and Derrick Brown. The Bears’ immediate extension for Montez Sweat upon acquiring the Commanders defensive end at the 2023 deadline created another what-if for Burns, though his involvement in those trade talks ultimately proved beneficial.

Burns had sought a deal in the $30MM-per-year ballpark, with that number coming up before the 49ers’ $34MM-AAV Nick Bosa agreement. Considering the accomplishment gap between Bosa and Burns, it was understandable the Panthers balked at giving the Ron Rivera-era draftee a deal that would have topped T.J. Watt‘s then-OLB-record number. Teams asked about Burns at the 2023 trade deadline as well, but the offers were not viewed as especially close to where the Rams went.

The snag coming out of the failed Rams trade talks became the Giants’ gain, with new GM Dan Morgan and former coworker Joe Schoen linking up on a March trade. They acquired Burns for a package similar to the one they received for Leonard Williams and gave the franchise-tagged edge rusher a five-year, $141MM deal that came with $76MM guaranteed at signing. Burns, 26, ranks in the top four in AAV, total guarantees and full guarantees among edge defenders. His contract, for the time being, overlaps with Kayvon Thibodeaux‘s rookie deal.

Carolina has since extended Brown, but cornerstones Moore and Burns are now elsewhere. The team’s receiving corps underwhelmed in 2023, contributing to Bryce Young‘s poor rookie season, and the team patched its OLB corps together with free agency additions in Morgan’s first offseason as GM. Jadeveon Clowney, D.J. Wonnum and K’Lavon Chaisson are now in place in Charlotte. The team does not appear to have an OLB pillar presently, and Morgan will be tasked with finding one to replace Burns in the long term.

Latest On Rams, Matthew Stafford

Extended weeks after he led the Rams to a Super Bowl LVI victory, Matthew Stafford took a slight discount on his fourth NFL contract. The Rams gave him a four-year, $160MM deal in March 2022. A year later, trade rumors came up after Stafford’s injury-plagued 2022.

Stafford responded with a strong season, drawing his first non-alternate Pro Bowl invite, and led a younger Rams team to a playoff berth. The 16th-year veteran has been connected to wanting guarantees added to his contract, as none are in place beyond 2024. Sean McVay said the Rams have engaged in discussions with their quarterback.

As Stafford angles for more post-2024 security, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport notes he is not planning to force the issue by missing training camp time. The 36-year-old passer ended last season healthy, after needing to be managed — due to a nagging elbow injury — during the team’s 2022 training camp. Although Stafford certainly has McVay’s offense down by this point, his missing camp time would hinder the development of other players.

In terms of AAV, Stafford’s $40MM has dropped to a tie for 12th in the NFL. Thus far, the $50MM-per-year club — one that now includes Jared Goff — that formed last year does not appear to be an issue for Stafford. Following the Rams’ narrow wild-card loss to the Lions, McVay said Stafford would “100%” be the team’s 2024 starter. But adding some guarantees for 2025 would make it more difficult for the Rams to move on from their signal-caller.

Stafford’s push here also provides a good indication he plans to play a 17th season next year. The topic of retirement has come up at points for the former No. 1 overall pick, though he has brushed off the notion at multiple points. The fourth-year Ram is signed through 2026.

Stafford missing any time in camp would lead to increased reps for Jimmy Garoppolo and Stetson Bennett. The latter has understandably lost momentum after spending his rookie season on the reserve/NFI list. Bennett declined to elaborate why his rookie year featured the September placement on the NFI list, but the two-time national championship-winning passer did confirm he spent last season at home. The Georgia alum did confirm (via ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop) mental health played a role in his unexpected absence. Bennett, 26, returned for Los Angeles’ offseason program.

Elsewhere on the Rams’ offense, Hunter Long returned to work late in the team’s offseason program, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes. The fourth-year tight end, acquired in the Jalen Ramsey trade, missed the stretch run due to a December MCL tear that required surgery. Long’s health is a bit more important for the team this year, as Tyler Higbee sustained an ACL tear in the playoff game and stands to be a candidate to start the season on the reserve/PUP list. The Rams also added ex-Seahawks contributor Colby Parkinson, giving them some more experience at tight end.