ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranks Rams’ offseason as 8th-best in NFL

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The Rams had to navigate limited cap space and a lack of high-end draft picks this offseason as they attempted to maintain a Super Bowl-caliber roster after winning it all last season. They didn’t have a draft pick in the top 100 and they weren’t able to re-sign Von Miller, but they did manage to add Allen Robinson, Bobby Wagner and a potential starting right guard, Logan Bruss.

All things considered, they did a nice job with their limited resources, and they’ll remain title contenders so long as Aaron Donald comes back for another season, too.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranked every team’s offseason in order from best to worst, and he seems impressed with the work Les Snead and Sean McVay did. Barnwell ranked the Rams No. 8 on his list, noting the fact that McVay and (likely) Donald are going to be back after flirting with retirement; Donald’s decision isn’t yet settled.

As for what went wrong, Barnwell sees the loss of Miller as a big one, and he’s “ambivalent about the addition of linebacker Bobby Wagner.” He says it’s “a lot of money to spend on a position for which the Rams have typically managed to find talent for cheap,” which he isn’t wrong about.

Barnwell would’ve preferred to see the Rams keep Robert Woods instead of trading him and signing Robinson. Woods had a cheaper contract and had the Rams not signed Robinson, they would’ve kept a third-round compensatory pick.

The biggest item left on the Rams’ to-do list, according to Barnwell, is Donald’s contract.

What’s left to do: Extend Donald. The future Hall of Famer still has three years and $52.3 million remaining on his existing deal, but when you win your team a Super Bowl, the usual rules go out the window. The 31-year-old will understandably want to be paid like the most valuable defensive player in the game, independent of position. I wouldn’t be surprised if he became the first defender in the league to hit $30 million per season on a new deal, with a three-year, $90 million extension allowing the Rams to reward their star and create cap space in the process.

As long as Donald returns in 2022, the Rams will be viewed as one of the best teams in the NFL. And in a weaker NFC, they’ll have a great chance to represent the conference in the Super Bowl.