Moving on from Leonard Floyd and Allen Robinson doesn’t mean the Rams are rebuilding
On the surface, it seems like the Los Angeles Rams are headed toward a rebuild. They’re parting ways with Bobby Wagner and weighing their options with Jalen Ramsey, while they’re also likely to move on from two other veterans: Leonard Floyd and Allen Robinson.
It was reported on Monday that Robinson has been shopped by the Rams and granted permission to seek a trade. Hours later, news dropped that they’re expected to cut Floyd if they’re unable to trade him first.
Altogether, the Rams could be moving on from four key starters from last season. All four players have one thing in common, however. They’re all expensive, and the Rams are looking for ways to free up money.
The Floyd and Robinson moves are different than the Wagner and Ramsey decisions. Wagner was a mutual agreement to part ways, with the star linebacker seeking a new opportunity elsewhere. The possibility of trading Ramsey is about recouping high-end draft picks and creating cap space, something the Rams can’t really get with any other player on their roster.
With Floyd, it’s simply about freeing up money. The same goes for Robinson. No team is going to give up valuable draft capital for a pass rusher with cap hits of $22-plus million in each of the next two years, or a 300-yard receiver who’s getting $18-plus million in each of the next two seasons, too.
And what separates Floyd and Robinson from Wagner and Ramsey is production. Sure, Floyd has been the Rams’ top edge rusher for the last three years, but he’s also had cold stretches where his impact is minimal. For example, he had no sacks in the first six weeks of last season.
Robinson contributed even less in 2022. He had 339 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games, which is only 41 more yards than Tutu Atwell had in 258 fewer snaps than Robinson. That’s not to say Atwell is a one-for-one replacement, but he did more with worse quarterback play and less playing time than Robinson did with Matthew Stafford.
It comes down to cost production. The Rams clearly don’t feel Floyd is worth the price of his contract, and the same goes for Robinson. If either player performed better in 2022, they’d likely still be part of the future plans.
Swapping out underperforming, high-cost veterans for cheaper, younger players isn’t a sign of a rebuild.
The strongest indication of that would be if they trade Ramsey. It would leave them dangerously thin at cornerback and give them draft picks to use on unproven rookies. By trading Ramsey, the Rams would be shifting their focus more toward 2024 than the upcoming season. Moving Floyd and Robinson doesn’t indicate that in the same way.
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