5 players the Rams could sign to extensions this offseason

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Cameron DaSilva
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

For better or worse, the Los Angeles Rams are a team that likes to sign players early. They did it with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin, all of which backfired. But they also got ahead of the curve with Tyler Higbee and Rob Havenstein, which has worked in their favor.

They’ll have a few players this offseason who won’t become unrestricted free agents in March, but they could be candidates for contract extensions at some point this offseason. Four of the players listed below will be free agents in 2022, while the final one, Darious Williams, will be a restricted free agent this year.

Here are five players the Rams could extend this year, excluding unrestricted free agents.

OL Austin Corbett

(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

By just about every account, the Rams are enamored to have Corbett on their roster. He was an important part of the offensive line in 2020, starting every game at right guard and playing well in that spot. He allowed just one sack, according to Pro Football Focus, and was a body-mover in the running game next to Rob Havenstein. The Rams could lose Austin Blythe in free agency this offseason, and though it’s unlikely Corbett will move to center, that is an option. Having a player with his position flexibility is invaluable. He should remain a staple of the team’s offensive line, being just 25 years old. By signing him to an extension now, the Rams could avoid potentially losing him in free agency next year.

K Matt Gay

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Gay is under contract for one more year, so it’s reasonable to think the Rams could just let him play out the 2021 season on his current deal. That wouldn’t be a bad move, but he proved this past season that he’s capable of being a high-end kicker in the NFL. Signing Gay now instead of waiting a year would be somewhat of a risk if he regresses in 2021, but it could also save the team money by preventing him from hitting free agency and possibly getting into a bidding war with other teams seeking kickers next offseason. There’s certainly some risk and reward that would come with making this move.

NT Sebastian Joseph-Day

(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

There’s no question Joseph-Day has earned a second contract with the Rams. In only his second year as a starter, Joseph-Day stepped up in a big way as the team’s nose tackle. Though he’s not much of a pass rusher, his value against the run is undeniable. Joseph-Day was a big reason the Rams ranked third in run defense this past season, consistently eating up blockers in the middle and allowing the linebackers behind him to run clear to the ball carrier. After struggling to find a true nose tackle for their 3-4 defense, the Rams have honed in on one with Joseph-Day, and they should sign him now before he hits free agency in 2022.

OL Joe Noteboom

(AP Photo/Kevin Sabitus)

The Rams probably won’t sign Noteboom to an extension this offseason, but he should be considered a candidate for a new contract as the team tries to figure out who will be the long-term answer at left tackle once Andrew Whitworth retires. They got their first good look at Noteboom playing that spot in 2020, as he filled in for Whitworth for the final seven games of the regular season. He wasn’t necessarily as good as Whitworth (few tackles are), but Noteboom was a good enough starter to hold up in pass protection. If the Rams feel good about making him the heir to Whitworth’s throne, signing him to an extension – and possibly lowering his cap hit slightly in 2020 – could be an option.

CB Darious Williams

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Unlike the other players on this list, Williams isn’t under contract for 2021. He’ll be a restricted free agent in March, but the Rams can prevent that from happening by signing him to an extension ahead of time. Even though he’ll be a RFA, Williams won’t be hard for the Rams to retain. According to Over The Cap, they can assign him a first- or second-round tender, which will cost either $4.766 million or $3.384 million, respectively. By signing Williams now, however, the Rams can save themselves a lot of money if he continues to play at a high level in 2021, which there’s no reason to believe he won’t. If they don’t extend him and he goes on to have another great season, his price will skyrocket in 2022. Extending Williams isn’t a pressing issue this year, but the Rams should absolutely consider it with the way his stock is trending. And as an added benefit, they can structure an extension to come with a cap hit lower than the RFA tender would be in 2021.

1

1

1

1