Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
The anticipated free agent player, who was regarded as the most sought-after player of the off-season, officially has agreed to join the team who employ’s the current reigning 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. This signing now gives the Rams defensive line a dynamic duo up front on that will cause nightmares to opposing offenses.
The Los Angeles Rams have done it again, by landing veteran defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh to their defensive front. Suh, who visited the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, and the Tennessee Titans during his free agency tour, made it clear that his decision was about winning a ring, and not about monetary purposes. Suh initially planned to visit the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday of last week, but rescinded his visit and returned back home to Portland, Oregon to mull his decision on where he was taking his talent.
But it became apparent that Suh went back against his original statement, going back on his words when the New York Jets threw a wrench into the plan by saying they could pay him more. How good that sounded to Suh by the Jets announcement last week of them being interested in signing Suh to their team. However, that thought came to an end on Sunday at the NFL owner’s meeting, when Jets owner Christopher Johnson confirmed that the team rescinded a contract offer to Suh and that he wasn't "in keeping with our long-term plan," according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.
Cimini also reported more on the owner’s comment’s: "It became apparent to the two of us that this just didn't work," Johnson said. "I don't want to be a flash in the pan. I don't want to load up on people who can get you there but can't keep you there. This is about building something great long term.”
If Suh had the vision of cashing another big check or wanted them to exclusively understand that by him joining the Jets, it was for a short stint, which turned out not to be in their plans.
It was announced that the Rams were in the driver's seat on landing Suh. He was impressed by the organization when he visited them and them to have seemed won him over. Suh has gone to social media sharing video’s that indicating California representations with a video of him boarding a private jet playing The Notorious Big song, “Going Back To Cali”, as well as continuance workouts at a gym named Revolution In Motion, which has one literally several feet away from the Ram headquarters.
r to the defensive tackle, adding Suh wasn't "in keeping with our long
Adding Suh, one of the leagues most volatile defensive lineman, he now joins a Rams defensive front that could potentially start World War III on the gridiron. Suh joins a team that has a new culture, but he has a history of dirty play. Suh previously has been fined several times and received a suspension for dirty egregious play. His dirty play in the past surely was of some concern of Les Snead (General Manager), Sean McVay (Head Coach), and Wade Phillips (Defensive Coordinator), of Suh's desire to play hard and clean.
The Rams traded for two defensive backs, both players who both had on and off the field issues as well, defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. With Suh’s arrival, he will need to demonstrate to the team as a leader on the field, and what his resume’ has shown over the years of destroying offensive lineman, pressuring quarterbacks that allow defensive backs to harass wide receivers.
According to reports, offensive lines that are scheduled this season to play against the Rams, have currently been placed on notice. They virtually will be facing a defensive front of Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh, and Aaron Donald, all who are former first-round draft selections.
The term of Suh’s agreement is a 1-year, $14M for the season.
Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Ian Rapoport, an NFL analyst for NFL.com, has reportedly announced that free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, has canceled his visit with the Oakland Raiders. Suh initially planned the visit on Tuesday, just prior to meeting with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams invited Suh to the Rams Headquarters in Agoura Hills, California and the Rams Training Facility at Cal Lutheran University, in Thousand Oaks, California. He was met with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Bill Johnson defensive line coach, and Rams strength coach Ted Rath. Rath and Suh had a good relationship when the two previously worked together as Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins.
Suh was shown game film of his past play and defensive schemes of the Rams where they would love to play him on the side of Aaron Donald, the reigning 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Suh, primarily playing in a 4-3 scheme his career would play the three-technique in a three-four scheme. However, that's where Donald play, and they probably would have him slide down to the nose tackle along the side of Michael Brockers.
Rams General Manager Les Snead, Head Coach Sean McVay, and Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President Kevin Demoff, all met up with Suh later that evening for dinner. It was expected that Coach McVay had the way of winning over players and was the ace in the deck to have Suh convinced to become a Ram. It was noted that Suh was very impressed with what the Rams had to offer as a player and perhaps having the most dominant defensive front tandem with him and Donald. But, what stands as the question now, what is his price? Rams can possible give him a two-year $10 million with incentives, but can’t afford to go higher than those numbers.
Suh’s decision has dwindled down to the choices of the New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, and the Los Angles Rams. He will have to decide which organization will be a better fit for him to sign as a free agent. New Orleans may be that place that could potentially reel him with their southern hospitality, great food, and the Mercedes-Benz Dome. But don’t count out Los Angeles, the “City of Angels”, the bright sun, beaches and bikini’s, Hollywood and movie stars, and lastly, a great organization that has a young smart innovative head coach that has a winning attitude and positive image.
In 2013, the then St. Louis Rams were faced with a similar situation with another former Miami Dolphins player. Snead and Rams former head coach Jeff Fisher brought in offensive tackle Jack Long twice in for visits. Long departed St. Louis without signing a contract and needed to return to Miami to make his decision. Just some 48 hours later, he would announce that he was signing with the Rams.
Suh is not expected to make a decision today, as he has flown back home to Portland, Oregon, to mull his decisions on where he will be playing next. If its any consolation to the Rams fan, perhaps Suh, will have an answer by Friday and repeat the process Long decided some five years ago.
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-5-inch 215 pound Equanimeous St Brown?
St. Brown the son of John Brown, the former two-time Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. World weight-lifter, is a local kid from Anaheim, where he played at Servite High School. His interesting name that means “to stay calm and cool under pressure”, is exactly how he played his collegiate career. When current Green Packer Deshone Kizer was the starting quarterback at Norte Dame in 2016, St. Brown had a great year. St. Brown ended up that season to lead the Irish with 58 receptions for 961 yards, and nine touchdowns. The 2017 season didn’t work that well for him as Kizer declared, and the quarterback talent declined. His tall frame and speed can make him a dangerous receiver at the next level. He has two other brothers that also are collegiate receivers Osiris St. Brown Stanford University, and Amon-Ra St. Brown who will be playing the University of Southern Cal.
Equanimeous St. Brown Highlights
Has the ability to play outside as a deep threat and huge target. Even more dangerous in the slot with good speed for his height. Polished route runner with deceptive speed whether taking the top off the defense or on comeback routes. Huge target allowing to shield off defenders on 50/50 balls. Ability to take short crossing routes for big gains. Not afraid of crossing the middle and taking bit hits. Ability to maneuver away from big hits and maintain concentration on catching the ball. Has great footwork, that allows him to deceive the defender when running his routes.
Tends to struggle with physical cornerbacks. Needs to use hands more to catch the ball instead of allowing to hit the body. Need to use his body more downfield to shield off the defender. Question on hand strength if he's able to catch ball despite being chopped at by defender.
Is he a fit for the Rams?
Yes, since the departure of Sammy Watkins and Rams sticking with Tavon Austin another year, St. Brown can be a huge weapon for Sean McVay's offense. With his large frame, he already poises as a red zone target and mismatch with his speed. Having the height of St. Brown and Josh Reynolds on the field together on the outside will raise high concerns of the defensive secondary, primarily the safeties. Running lanes are now open as well as St. Brown working underneath as linebackers are concerned with the running game of Todd Gurley. If he should drop to the third or fourth round which is unlikely, the Rams will get another steal in the draft as they did with Cooper Kupp and Reynolds.
Round - 2nd or 3rd
Andre Holmes, Buffalo Bills
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The NFL free agency has officially started as many NFL teams were actively signing new players by trade or new free agents joining new teams. No team had been more aggressive in the free agency period than the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams kicked off the free agency stage by executing the first huge trade by sending two 2018 draft picks and a swap of picks, to the Kansas City Chiefs for All-pro cornerback Marcus Peters. Snead engineered another trade by sending a 2018 fifth-round pick to the Denver Broncos for all-pro cornerback Aqib Talib.
Les Snead, the Rams general manager, didn't just stop there, as he executed trades of veteran edge rusher Robert Quinn (Miami Dolphins) and surprisingly of team captain Alec Ogletree. It was such a surprise of Ogletree, because he just recently agreed to a new four year, $42,750,000 contract, with an $8,000,000 signing bonus, and $21,369,000 was guaranteed. The organization was able to obtain some picks back they originally traded away via previous trades.
It appeared many of the Ram fans had been more concerned about the status of veteran wide-receiver Tavon Austin, than any other news. Austin seemed to have lost the faith of many fans, because of his lack of big plays and problems with turning over the ball.
In 2016, the Ram’s Tavon Austin, signed a four-year extension to stay in Los Angeles, the team that drafted at the 2013 NFL Draft. Austin signed a four-year, $42,000,000 extension including $28,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $10,500,000. In 2017, Austin earned a base salary of $3,500,000 and a roster bonus of $11,477,116, while carrying a cap hit of $14,977,116.
Austin's lucrative contract extension brought frustration from numerous Ram fans, because of Austin’s statistics didn’t compare to that type of monetary reward not the elite receivers in the league. He seemed to lose in the shuffle, as he was used more as a decoy to open the running lanes for Todd Gurley impressive MVP run.
Teams had expressed interest in trading for Austin, such as the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but no trades were executed. Sportswriter Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register was busy responding to tweets from Ram fans about the team, and of Austin. Hammond responded back to Austin’s status, that his agent and the organization were trying to restructure his contract or presumably his outright release.
The Rams seem to make a complete overhaul of the team this off-season, with Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin, and Michael Brockers as the remaining Jeff Fisher's first-round selections in St. Louis. Starting quarterback Jared Goff remains as the last of Fisher's first-round selections on the Rams roster.
Viewing the defensive side of the ball, the returning starters from last season team is, Lamarcus Joyner, Mark Barron, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, and presumably Ethan Westbrook. Addition of Peters and Talib, replacing Trumaine Johnson (New York Jets) and Kavon Webster (recovering from ruptured Achilles), locks the outside, resigning of Nickell Robey-Coleman and Troy Hill, adding veteran cornerback Sam Shields, gives the defense a competitive edge in the defensive backfield.
Safety Cody Davis, departed today by agreeing to a three year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, speed, and his great special team play will be missed. Edge rusher Matt Longacre is recovering from back surgery, but the team placed a tender on him, as edge rusher Gary Sickell was signed too.
On the offensive side, the team re-signed running back Malcolm Brown (Gurley's backup), but the biggest loss was receiver Sammy Watkins, who chased the dollars to the Chiefs. Tight-end Derek Carrier signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders, kicker Sam Ficken was resigned, and tackle Michael Dunn was added to the team. Rams released running back Lance Dunbar, who never could get over the injury that plagued him all season long.
Tweet's of Tavon Austin Status
Obviously, with this information, it appears that Austin is still valuable to the Rams head coach Sean McVay's offense. Indeed he is important and needed because defenses are of concern with his versatility. Austin’s speed is a definite concern and his ability to run or receive the ball in the Rams’ offense. Defenses remained honest of Austin, where his body just being on the field helped engineer some of Todd Gurley's big plays.RSS Feed
If Austin is retained, he will have the opportunity to be 100 percent healthy for the team OTA's, something that he was not involved in last season. Austin was recovering from offseason wrist surgery, and when he released to practice, also was suffering from hamstring issues.
The next few days, we all shall see the fate of Tavon Austin, whether he agreed to a restructure and remain a Ram, a trade executed, or his outright release, walking away with $5,000,000.
Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams and veteran wide receiver Tavon Austin will remain wearing the horns. Austin, in the midst of his fifth NFL season, his agent agreed on a restructure with Austin remaining in Los Angeles.
In 2016, the Ram’s Tavon Austin, signed a four-year extension to stay in Los Angeles, the team that drafted at the 2013 NFL Draft. Austin signed a 4 year, $42,000,000 extension including $28,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $10,500,000. In 2017, Austin earned a base salary of $3,500,000 and a roster bonus of $11,477,116, while carrying a cap hit of $14,977,116.
Austin's lucrative contract extension was disturbing to numerous Ram fans, because of Austin’s statistics didn’t compare to the monetary reward of the elite receivers in the league. He seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle, as he was used more as a decoy to open running lanes for Todd Gurley during his impressive MVP run.
A couple of teams expressed interest in a trade, such as the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but no trades were executed. Sportswriter Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register, was busy responding to tweets from Ram fans regarding the team, and of Austin. Hammond responded back of Austin’s status, that his agent and the organization were trying to restructure his contract or presumably his outright release.
Austin's agent and Les Snead continued to negotiating in "good faith" but the two sides couldn't reach a decision during the bargaining period. Austin's is owed $5,000,000 after the Rams on Wednesday failed to release him before the 4:00 pm est deadline. If Austin's was released his salary would have freeed up $3,000.000 in cap space to help get new players signed.
NFL analyst Ian Rappaport announced this evening that Austin and the Rams reached an agreement on restructuring his contract. The terms of the restructure have not be revealed, but Rams at the least keep the speedy receiver another season.
Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Yesterday the Los Angeles Rams made a surprising trade by sending veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for a fourth and sixth-round draft picks. The move was made several days after the Rams traded away their other veteran linebacker Robert Quinn, to the Miami Dolphins for draft picks.
Executing these trades, the Rams recoups a third, fourth, and sixth round picks they already traded away to acquire Marcus Peters, Derrick Carrier, and Quinn. In addition, the Rams swapped a 2018 sixth round (Peters from KC Chiefs) and traded away a seventh rounder for the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Rams front office has been busy this off-season, as on Tuesday, electing to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on safety Lamarcus Joyner. Last week, sources announced that the Rams were trading or releasing receiver Tavon Austin on March 14th. Releasing Austin, will save the Rams an additional $3 million against the cap and may be looking to do more shuffling at linebacker Mark Barron name has been thrown into the mix.
Player Respond Via Tweets
Ram players were obviously taken by surprise of the trade, took to Twitter with their responses. Running-Back Todd Gurley II would tweet out two red angry faces. Pending free agent cornerback, Trumaine Johnson, also took to Twitter by responding, "SMH! THIS IS CRAZY."
The Rams have stated all off-season that they had a plan that may work out to keep both Joyner and Johnson with the Rams. Right away they have released two veterans and soon the third with Austin, that will give them numbers to work out deals for Johnson, and hopefully retaining receiver Sammy Watkins.
Alec Ogletree Response To Trade
Ogletree had a response to Todd Gurley's tweet, by interpretation of his tweet, that he understood that it was a business decision, and remained humbled by the trade. It was reported yesterday via NFL.Com that Ogletree was offered to Kansas City in the Peters deal, but the Chiefs were not interested.RSS Feed
According to P.F.F. (Pro Football Focus), Ogletree was ranked 830th out of 856 defensive players grade last season. The pretty much led up to the trade, as defensive Wade Phillips was convinced that Ogletree was not a fit for the 3-4 defense. Ogletree missed a few key tackles last season that resulted in Rams losses last season. None missed tackle bigger than the one he missed against the Atlanta Falcons, in the 2017 NFC Wild Card on a fourth and short, that could have given the Rams the ball with great field position.
The Rams defense had huge holes as teams were able to identify and expose Quinn and Ogletree's inexperience from game film. It started in week one against the Washington Redskins, who shredded the Rams run defense. The Redskins rushed for over 200 yards against the Rams that week, and the defense was being questioned early.
By trading Ogletree, the Rams were able to save $8 million dollars to the salary cap. Many were surprised by the trade because Ogletree had just signed a four-year $42.75 million deal last season. Ogletree will definitely be missed by many fans that have gravitated to his play and Quinn. It wasn't that the two were bad players, it just they didn't fit the defensive scheme, as they were great in a 4-3 defense.
Rams head coach Sean McVay, and general manager Les Snead, have a recipe for success, as they move are being executed. Expect the Rams to go heavy with defense with the 2018 NFL Draft, as they have numerous sixth-round selections. But, don't hold your breath if you think the rest of the players are safe, anything can happen unexpectedly.
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams will place the non-exclusive franchise tag on safety LaMarcus Joyner, preventing him from hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent. The worth of the one-year franchise tag will be about $11.2 million against the team's salary cap.
A second-round pick out of Florida State in the 2014 NFL Draft, Joyner has excelled as one of the league’s elite safeties in his fourth season. Joyner arguably had his best year the 2017 NFL season, with 49 tackles (10 assisted), one forced fumble, three interceptions (one interception return for a touchdown), and nine pass deflections. On another note, Joyner had the league’s highest tackling percentage of 98 percent last season, allowing just one broken tackle.
Lamarcus Joyner 2017 Highlights
Tagging Joyner, the Rams hope to have solidified their secondary after agreeing to a trade with Kansas City Chiefs for All-Pro Corner Marcus Peters for two draft picks. The Rams are also optimistic even with the possible pending free agent Trumaine Johnson returning, as head coach Sean McVay discussed at the 2018 NFL Combine.
Wade Phillips, the Rams Defensive Coordinator, would potentially be floating on the clouds if the Rams and Johnson can agree on a deal for him to remain a Ram. With Johnson and Peters on the outside, and second-year safety John Johnson III and Joyner at the safety position, arguably
give the Rams their best secondary ever.
The Rams will now risk wide receiver Sammy Watkins to negotiate with other teams. If another franchise signs Watkins to an offer sheet, the Rams have the right to match that team’s offer, which would guarantee that he returns. If another team extends him an offer sheet and the Rams decline to match it, the Rams would receive a compensatory draft pick from that team.
Had the Rams chose to tag Watkins, it would have cost the team some $16 million dollars toward the cap. It probably was a wise move to tag Joyner, as it will save the Rams about $5 million toward the cap. Watkins current market value is far from the $16 million the Rams will have shelled out to retain him this season. The two sides now have at least another week to negotiate in “good faith” to get him signed pending other teams offer.
The Rams are committed to getting a long-term contract signed with Joyner; the team will continue to negotiate with him for a new contract. Wade Phillips loved Joyner and wanted to find a way to have hit the field at all times, and rest to assure that deal will get done soon.
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-four-inch 256 pound, Leighton Vander Esch?
Vander Esch was the 2017 Mountain West All-Conference First Team, 2017 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, and the 2017 MVP of the Mountain West Championship Game, forego his senior year and declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. He recorded 141 tackles (8 ½ tackles for losses), four sacks, broke up four passes and had three interceptions his junior year. At the 2018 NFL Combine, Vander Esch increased his draft value with an impressive workout. He leads four of the skill drills, recording a 39 ½ -inch vertical, leaped 10-foot-4 in the broad jump, 6.88 in the three-cone drill, and a superb 4.15 in the 60-yard shuttle run. At 6-foot-4 and weighing 256 pounds, he also ran an impressive 4.65 in the forty. NFL scouts predict Vander Esch to be a mid-first round selection in the draft.
Leighton Vander Esch Highlights
Has excellent size, impressive length, and great instincts for a linebacker. Recognize plays and the ball well. Very disciplined, not easily fooled and recognized play action passes. Ability to keep the play in front of him. Has the versatility to play both the inside and outside linebacker positions, and the ability to play all three downs. Ability to break up passes or intercept the ball. Ability to strip the ball from the runner, and forced fumbles. Good sideline to sideline tackler and wraps with just about all tackles. A sure tackler and has the ability to regain if over pursues.
Vander Esch had only one year of productivity at linebacker playing at Boise State, he was injured half of the 2016 season. Issues with fighting off blocks of offensive lineman. Has a habit taking on lead blockers instead of using his hand to fight off the blocks to make tackles. Plays with a high motor on every down, but over pursuit plays causing to miss tackles. Feet are slightly choppy which may cause him to be a step late. Good pass rusher at the NCAA level, but need to find a new repertoire at the next level. Ability to cover in deep zones exposes weakness, allowing receivers to get open at the second level. Will benefit by adding more muscles to his frame to extend his career.
How is he a fit for the Rams?
Rams traded linebacker Robert Quinn to the Miami Dolphins, and linebacker Mark Barron, may be on the move as well, Vander Esch can be a great addition to the Rams linebacker corps. Samson Ebukam and Corey Littleton, both may be starters this season as Alec Ogletree will return starting inside. Vander Esch versatility will allow Wade Phillips to play him at any of the linebacking positions. Can be a tremendous run stopper, and will be a perfect fit for as a standup edge.
Karlos Dansby, Arizona Cardinals
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-3-inch 199 pound DJ Chark?
DJ Chark is a deep threat the receiver from LSU and took the nation by storm on Saturday at the 2018 NFL Combine. He recorded a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash, had a 40-inch-vertical, and also recorded a 10.75 in the broad jump, leading all receivers in those categories. Chark was used a deep threat receiver, explosive punt returner, as well as a good runner on fly sweeps or end-around. Probably securing a late first round selection for the 2018 NFL Draft, he just about was flawless in his skill drills at the combine. With a run-heavy and explosive backfield of Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams, the LSU had a limited passing game. However, Chark made the best of his opportunities by grabbing 40 receptions for 874 yards and three touchdowns. Chark was arguably the biggest winner at the Senior Bowl, showcasing his game-breaking ability with multiple big plays. It was noted that he changed jersey number from 82 to seven, to challenge former LSU Tiger Leonard Fournette, who went fourth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
D.J. Chark Highlights
Great size with a big body that can control his route for late adjustments. He’s a big-play threat, with the ability to create separation late in his routes. Ability to run away from defenders. Ability to run double move routes without breaking stride and causing defenders to stumble. Not afraid to go across the middle and absorb the big hits. Big target, good route runner, and great presence of coming back to the quarterback when pressured. Very good and dangerous punt returner for his size.
Tall body with access to press coverage, as he is not too effective fighting them off with his hands. Can use work on his route running as he tends to run routes too high. Need to get stronger, as he will have an issue with stronger defensive backs. Poor quarterback play may expose his limited route running moves, and ball tracking ability. Need to consistently high-point the ball its the highest point.
Is he a fit for the Rams?
Yes, with the status of Sammy Watkins still up in the air, Chark can replace Watkins as the deep threat for the Rams. Jared Goff and Watkins never seemed to really connect well, but they did hook with a couple of deep throws last season. Sean McVay, the Los Angeles Rams head coach stated last week it was his fault, and if they retain Watkins, he will be able to use him better moving forward. Second-year receiver Josh Reynolds can be Watkins replacement in the starting lineup with his huge body and ability to go deep. Chark can provide the home run deep ball, and also be effective in the return game when needed.
Late 1st-2nd Round
Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs