Grading the Rams’ signing of CB Tre’Davious White

The Los Angeles Rams were expected to be aggressive this offseason after stripping down their roster in 2023, and that’s exactly what they’ve been. The defense has received a lot of attention with the most recent addition being All-Pro cornerback and two-time Pro Bowler, Tre’Davious White.

He agreed to a one-year deal worth $8.5 million this week, with incentives bringing the max value up to $10 million. It’s a sizable contract for a veteran coming off a torn Achilles last October, which makes this a somewhat risky move for the Rams. It’s also easy to understand why they did it.

White was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL when he was healthy a few years ago. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2020 when he picked off three passes in 14 games, but since then, he’s been limited to only 21 total games in three seasons.

He missed significant time due to a torn ACL in 2021 and the aforementioned Achilles tear in 2023, so he hasn’t been available very much. Not to mention, Achilles injuries are often regarded as some of the toughest to recover from, as we saw with Cam Akers in Los Angeles.

When White is healthy, though, he’s a game-changer in the secondary. He has the movement skills and speed to match up in man coverage, while also displaying the instincts to make plays on the ball in zone coverage.

With the Rams, he’ll mostly play zone, but if the Rams want to blitz more, he’s certainly capable of matching up one-on-one to eliminate the receiver lined up across from him. That’s a plus for L.A. because the defense was lacking man corners last season, leading to fewer blitzes.

As expensive as White’s contract is for a player coming off injury, it’s only one year. This is along the lines of being an all-in move for the Rams, whose Super Bowl window is open with Matthew Stafford in 2024, but it’s unclear how much longer he’ll play. So they’re pushing for impact starters in free agency such as White, Darious Williams and Kamren Curl in the secondary.

If White doesn’t have the same juice and isn’t the same player next season, the Rams will move on after one season. this signing doesn’t preclude them from drafting a cornerback early, either. The draft isn’t about one year, it’s about several seasons.

By getting White in the building and drafting a young cornerback (or two), the Rams will have proven talent now and future starters, too. This will allow any rookies to be slowly worked into the defense rather than being forced into a starting role at a difficult position on defense.

The risk is there, but so is the potential reward.

Grade: B

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire