GM Les Snead(above) courtesy of Ramblin' Fan
The NFC-side of Los Angeles is undergoing a tumultuous period with personnel at every level. L.A. Rams general manager Les Snead is now dealing with the newest defection of Rams Passing Game Coordinator Shane Waldron, and it’s not his only headache this offseason. Waldron has inked with their West opponents the Seattle Seahawks to become their new offensive coordinator under head coach Pete Carroll.
The Rams are now suffering from seven executive and coaching losses from the Seattle Seahawks, L.A. Chargers, and Detroit Lions. Key losses include; top scout Brad Holmes, defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, and defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. The Rams shaky front office and leadership on the field may translate onto the field.
The Rams have effectively become a “farm” for the rest of the NFL since head coach Sean McVay’s hire in 2017. Former coordinators such as Matt LaFleur, Zac Taylor, and Jedd Fisch are three more examples along Staley that have become head coaches out of McVay’s coaching tree. For Rams fans that must feel bitter-sweet.
Sean McVay (left) and Aubrey Pleasant (right) courtesy of USA Today.
“Coach-poaching” is a sign that a head coach is doing his job; putting the right people in place and thus putting his team in capable hands. But, with the impossibly high amount of defections in Southern California, things are starting to spell ‘trouble.’ After all, McVay’s initial success seemed to stem from his unpredictability and fresh gameplan angles. Now that these coaches are stemming throughout the league, his scheme becomes more recognizable with each promotion.
Another problem that has been a long time coming for the Rams is their player contracts. With an already limited cap space due to massive extensions to the likes of DB Jalen Ramsey and QB Jared Goff, the Rams are stuck in a situation where they must pick from roughly 17 players who are in danger of hitting the free agency market.
Key break-out players who are likely not able to sign to the Rams next season include: outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, tight end Gerald Everett, and strong safety John Johnson III. These players have run up on either their rookie or short-term contract and played to such a degree it’s almost guaranteed that the Rams don’t have enough cap space to grant them their market value.
John Johnson III (above) courtesy of NFL Spin Zone
With the coaches and front office on a carousel, it will be that much harder for the Rams to retain those players that may be teetering on the line of resigning. While their searches continue, the Seahawks and Chargers are nearing the end of their leadership hiring rounds.
It will be interesting moving forward to see how the Rams deal with these changes as Snead hinted on Tuesday that 5-year pro Goff may not be the starter or in fact even a Ram at all by the start of the 2021 season. While this may free up some of the long-term dedication they have to the QB, they’ll have much more to do if they want to complete a competitive squad by August.