Les Snead

Rams Extend GM Les Snead

Throughout the offseason, new deals were expected to be finalized for Rams head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead. Per a team announcement on Thursday, both are indeed set to remain with the team for years to come. 

McVay had already confirmed his new deal one month ago, and he made it clear at that time that an announcement regarding Snead would be forthcoming. With the Rams’ title defense beginning in a matter of hours, many expected that announcement to come today. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the pair are now on the books through the 2026 season.

To no surprise, both McVay and Snead are now thought to be among the league’s highest-paid at their respective positions. The Rams have seen consistent success during their time guiding the franchise, including last season’s Super Bowl win. That has come during Snead’s increasing reliance on his unorthodox roster-building strategy of forgoing premium draft picks in return for proven commodities at important positions (including, most notably, quarterback Matthew Stafford).

Los Angeles has not made a first-round selection since 2016, and does not own one until 2024. Still, the effectiveness of the 51-year-old’s actions led to joint extensions for both he and McVay in 2019. Another set of deals keeping them together was widely expected to be the team’s preference, and became possible once the latter confirmed that he would continue coaching in lieu of a broadcasting career.

Snead has held his current title since 2012, ranking him in the top-10 with respect to the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs. He will look to continue climbing the ladder in that regard, while seeking continuity on the roster he has molded into a champion. Much of that has already been taken care of, with new deals being signed in recent months by Stafford, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and receiver Cooper Kupp.

The long-term future of the organization has been questioned by some given the ‘all-in’ nature of Snead’s moves. Further titles remain possible for at least the next few years, however, and he will still be at the helm if/when the team’s Super Bowl window closes given today’s news.

Sean McVay Confirms Rams Extension

Amidst the several headline-grabbing financial moves the Rams have made this offseason, it has been widely expected that a new deal for head coach Sean McVay was among the team’s priorities. He confirmed on Tuesday that a new contract has indeed been agreed upon (Twitter link via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic). 

McVay made the announcement during a press conference; details on the length and value of the deal are still unknown, and likely will be for some time. He added that the team will wait to officially announce it until an extension with general manager Les Snead is finalized, tweets NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“Les and I have always been a pair,” McVay said, via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “We wanted to be able to announce that when both of us [had] gotten done. Mine is done. Les is in the process of that.”

The 36-year-old recently spoke about his decision to decline a broadcasting deal and remain on the sidelines with the defending champions. The possibility of his departure loomed over their Super Bowl victory, but McVay had two years remaining on his contract before today’s news. He has also widely been expected to receive a substantial raise from the $8.5MM annual value of his old pact.

Likewise, it comes as little surprise that McVay and Snead will be re-upped simultaneously. The two signed joint extensions in 2019, and have achieved significant success together. A new contract for Snead was considered an inevitability once those of Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp were taken care of. McVay’s remarks point to both extensions being made official in the near future.

With much of their championship core still intact from last season, the Rams are contenders to repeat in 2022. With McVay (and, all-but assuredly, Snead) remaining at the helm for several years into the future, their intermediate future looks positive as well.

Latest On Sean McVay Contract Talks

The Rams’ Super Bowl win came amidst questions regarding Sean McVay’s future on the sidelines. Those have been put to rest in the short-term, but his contract status remains an important talking point for the defending champions. 

Part of the speculation surrounding the 36-year-old’s intentions sprung from the possibility that he would walk away from the sidelines in favor of a media career. As he recounted recently, conversations with quarterback Matt Stafford and receiver Cooper Kupp helped convince him to remain in the position which has delivered unprecedented success.

“It was really when those guys came in, and I could see how genuine and authentic it was,” McVay said, via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer“That was when I looked them in the eye and said, I’m not doing that” in reference to leaving the team to pursue a media role. “I think more than anything, all the emotions that are released when you’re able to [win a Super Bowl], and you’ve got other opportunities, it’s like… ‘that’s an exciting option.’

“But when you really sit down and think about it, the things I love most about coaching… it’s the amount of people that would potentially be affected… I love coaching. I love working with guys. I love being in the foxhole with the players and coaches. And you can’t mimic and emulate that in a media job.”

McVay’s current deal runs through 2023, but he has long been expected to receive an extension (along with, presumably, a significant raise from his $8.5MM salary). Finalizing a new contract this offseason was essentially deemed an inevitability in March by COO Kevin Demoff. That still hasn’t happened yet, but progress is being made.

McVay is presently feeling “really good” about contract talks, adding that he considers it “more than likely” his extension will be hammered out before the start of the season (Twitter links via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop). Not surprisingly, he adds that the term on his new deal will align with that of GM Les Snead; the two signed joint extensions in 2019.

The Rams have taken care of the contracts for several notable players, including Stafford, Kupp and Aaron Donald already this offseason. More work remains on that front, but the team’s head coach and general manager should be on the books for the foreseeable future by the time their title defense commences.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

Wednesday, we took a look at how the 2022 offseason changed the HC landscape. While 10 new sideline leaders are in place for 2022, not quite as much turnover transpired on the general manager front. Five new decision-makers, however, have moved to the top of teams’ front office hierarchies over the past six months.

The Bears, Giants, Raiders and Vikings rebooted their entire operations, hiring new HC-GM combos. The Minnesota move bumped out one of the previous top-10 longest-tenured GMs, with 16-year Vikings exec Rick Spielman no longer in power in the Twin Cities. The Steelers’ shakeup took the NFL’s longest-tenured pure GM out of the mix. Kevin Colbert was with the Steelers since 2000, and although he is still expected to remain with the team in a reduced capacity, the 22-year decision-maker stepped down shortly after Ben Roethlisberger wrapped his career.

Twelve teams have now hired a new GM in the past two offseasons, though a bit more staying power exists here compared to the HC ranks. Two GMs (the Cardinals’ Steve Keim and Chargers’ Tom Telesco) have begun their 10th years at the helms of their respective front offices. They have hired three HCs apiece. The Buccaneers’ Jason Licht is closing in on a decade in power in Tampa Bay; Licht will now work with his fourth HC in Todd Bowles. Beyond that, a bit of a gap exists. But a handful of other executives have been in power for at least five seasons.

Here is how long every GM or de facto GM has been in place with his respective franchise:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  5. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  6. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010; signed extension in 2022
  7. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2019
  8. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013; signed extension in 2022
  9. Tom Telesco (Los Angeles Chargers): January 9, 2013; signed extension in 2018
  10. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  11. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  12. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016; signed extension in 2022
  13. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  14. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  15. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  16. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  17. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  18. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  19. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  20. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  21. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  22. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  23. Scott Fitterer (Carolina Panthers): January 14, 2021
  24. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021
  25. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  26. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  27. Martin Mayhew (Washington Commanders): January 22, 2021
  28. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  29. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  30. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  31. Dave Ziegler (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  32. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022

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. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

Latest On Rams’ Snead, McVay, Donald, Kupp

While they have made a number of big-name additions in recent years, a key core of players and personnel have been present throughout the recent success the Rams have enjoyed. Included among those is general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay, along with All-Pros Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp. According to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Athletic, each member of that quartet is in line for new or re-worked contracts. 

As chief operating officer Kevin Demoff recently confirmed, both Snead and McVay “will receive contract extensions prior to the official start of the 2022 season”. It had been known for some time that McVay would be getting a new deal after he confirmed his intention to continue coaching. Likewise, Snead been extended parallel to McVay in recent years, including their joint re-signing in 2019.

They want to be aligned”, Demoff said. “They speak the same language and they see football the same way. They’re motivated to build teams together the same way. When you find that partnership, you want to keep it.”

As for Donald, Rodrigue reports that “the team is working out a new contract for [him] and expects it to be done soon”. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has three years remaining on his current deal, which he signed in 2018 following a holdout one year earlier. There is optimism a repeat of that will be avoided, as negotiations have “been nothing but positive” for an extension which is thought to represent a large raise on his current $22.5MM-per-year pact.

For Kupp, meanwhile, an extension – or at least a restructure of his current deal – will become the priority after Donald. He has two years remaining on a contract which is set to pay him just over $14.5MM per season. While the 29-year-old isn’t “looking to top the [WR] pay charts”, as far as the front office is aware, a raise spread out over a longer term is their goal. Doing so could open up some needed financial flexibility, given the addition of Allen Robinson and the teams’ ongoing efforts to re-sign Odell Beckham Jr.

While change is inevitable for any team – even Super Bowl winners – it appears much of the Rams’ nucleus will be remaining in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future.

Rams GM Les Snead Discusses OBJ, Aaron Donald

The Rams have reshuffled their receivers depth chart this offseason, but that hasn’t changed their views on Odell Beckham Jr.. Rams general manager Les Snead told reporters today that the team would still like OBJ back in Los Angeles for the 2022 campaign.

[RELATED: Latest On Rams’ Pending Free Agents]

“He’s someone that we definitely want back,” Snead said (via AP’s Greg Beacham on Twitter). “A little bit more complex situation based on the injury. We envision it being similar but different circumstances to last year. When Odell is ready to play, we’d appreciate him being part of (the Rams).”

The Rams had previously made it clear that they wanted OBJ back, and the player also expressed interest in returning to the team. As a result, a new contract was “expected to happen,” but nothing has materialized in two weeks. Another report indicated that the Rams were staying flexible with respect to contract offers, so perhaps a deal is only a matter of time.

OBJ joined the Rams midseason and ended up having a standout performance for his new team, posting 48 catches for 593 yards and seven touchdowns between the regular season and playoffs before a knee injury knocked him out of the Super Bowl. Since the season ended, the Rams added Allen Robinson to their squad while shipping out veteran Robert Woods.

Meanwhile, Snead acknowledged that extension talks with Aaron Donald are “still in progress,” per Michael J. Duarte on Twitter. The defensive tackle waged a holdout in 2017 and later landed a then-record-breaking extension. Naturally, Donald’s $22.5MM-per-year deal has since been dwarfed. Donald’s age and the state of the market makes this contract issue understandable, and it may have factored into the surprise retirement talk.

Rams GM: “Too Early” To Call Jared Goff’s Future

Earlier this month, Rams head coach Sean McVay didn’t offer much in the way of assurances when he was asked about Jared Goff‘s future. On Tuesday, Rams GM Les Snead offered up a similar answer when chatting with reporters. 

Not going to get into specifics…That’s the beautiful mystery of the future,” Snead said. (Twitter link via Greg Beacham of the Associated Press). “Jared Goff is a Ram at this moment. It’s way too early to speculate.”

Bolster’s by the league’s top total defense, the Rams made it to the divisional round before falling to the Packers. Meanwhile, the former No. 1 overall pick regressed, tossing tons of interceptions and putting his L.A. future in jeopardy.

Snead, known for his aggressiveness, might have a hard time trading Goff, if that’s what he wants to do. The QB is under contract through 2024 thanks to the monster extension he signed in 2019. Meanwhile, there’s no realistic way to cut him before next season, given the dead money that would come with his release. Ultimately, the Rams may have to bring in competition for Goff, rather than move on from him.

In other Rams roster news, left tackle Andrew Whitworth has confirmed to the Rams that he’ll return in 2021. For his part, Snead has no issue with Whitworth’s contract, which will carry a $11.17MM hit against the cap.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

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. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

Rams Rumors: Kupp, Goff, Gurley, Matthews

The latest on the Rams:

  • With one year left on his deal, wide receiver Cooper Kupp says he isn’t sweating the Rams for an extension. “There’s so much going on in the world right now,” Kupp said (Twitter link via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times). “It’s not really a priority at this time.” Cupp, 27 in June, managed 94 catches, 1,161 yards, and ten touchdowns last year – all career highs.
  • If the Rams need additional cap room, Jared Goff is open to a restructuring of his deal. “I don’t see why not,” said the quarterback, who added that it’s a matter to be discussed between his agent and Rams COO Kevin Demoff (Twitter link via Omar Ruiz of NFL.com). Thanks to the four-year, $134MM extension he signed last fall, Goff is under contract with L.A. through 2024.
  • After parting ways with the Rams, running back Todd Gurley and linebacker Clay Matthews said that the team was late on money they were still owed. In an interview on the NFL Network, GM Les Snead said that they will, in fact, get their bonus checks. However, the Rams disagree with Gurley and Matthews on the language of the contracts – the Rams believe that they’re not due to pay for some time. The Rams, in theory, could wait until other clubs pick up part of the tab via offset language.

Rams HC, GM Discuss Offseason

It’s been a busy 24 months for the Rams, and it’ll all culminate with a crucial 2020 offseason.

They’ve handed out a number of high-priced extensions to quarterback Jared Goff, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, and others, leading to only $21MM in cap space this year. The organization also traded their 2020 and 2012 first-rounders for Jalen Ramsey, leaving the team with reduced draft capital.

Plus, the organization is staring at a long list of impending unrestricted free agents. In other words, the Rams could look a bit different next season.

Head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead spoke to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry about some of their critical offseason decisions. The entire article is worth a read, but we snagged some of the notable soundbites below:

On if the front office has engaged in any trade talks:

McVay: “Usually, Aaron Donald is off the table. I think, to answer your question, I think you kind of know who are the guys that there’s not something that would be worth it, but those are ongoing conversations and I think we’re always open to being able to explore things that can upgrade us as a team.

“What we have done a nice job of is identifying those foundational pieces to try to build around.”

Snead: “This time of year, it is interesting. You get calls on a lot of players. There’s a new era, in that somebody may call and ask about your best player, which in the past, I don’t know that phone call would be made. … But usually the answer is ‘No.'”

On free agent left tackle Andrew Whitworth‘s potential return:

McVay: “We’re pretty confident. He still played a really high level last year. His impact isn’t exclusive to just playing the left tackle position.”

On free agent kicker Greg Zuerlein:

McVay: “He’s done so many things and he’s a great kicker and I think those established veterans are so important, especially when every time he takes the field, there’s points at stake, unless he’s kicking off. But we want to make sure we’re evaluating the guys in the draft and then we’re going to have free agency.”

On potential extensions for receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson:

Snead: “The goal would be, let’s say guys like those two, if we do want them to get back, it would be great to have that box checked. What we have to do now is, because we have, I call it more urgent guys whose contracts actually expire, get through that process first and then move on to — I don’t want to call them less urgent — but less urgent than the players whose contracts are expiring.”

On potentially franchising free agent linebackers Dante Fowler or Cory Littleton:

Snead: “All options are on the table.”