The Los Angeles Rams were waiting on pins and needles for Sean McVay to decide whether he would continue coaching in 2023. After contemplating retirement, McVay has decided he’ll return as the Rams’ head coach next season.
It’s the first big domino to fall for Los Angeles because had McVay left, the team would’ve needed a new head coach, an all-new staff and was faced with the possibility of also losing Aaron Donald to retirement.
With McVay being back, the Rams are in much better position to rebound in 2023. There’s still plenty of work to do, but at least they won’t be replacing their Super Bowl-winning coach.
Here’s what’s next for the Rams with McVay returning.
Find a new offensive coordinator
Job No. 1 for McVay has to be the search for a new offensive coordinator. Liam Coen left for Kentucky (again), which means McVay will have a new OC on his staff (again). There are some strong candidates out there, especially if McVay wants to bring in a more experienced coach to help take some responsibility off his own plate.
Kliff Kingsbury would make sense, as would Frank Reich. McVay could also consider promoting Zac Robinson or Thomas Brown to offensive coordinator if he wants to keep things in-house for that position.
Regardless, a change is needed on the offensive staff with Coen gone.
Retain Raheem Morris and Thomas Brown
Morris and Brown are both drawing interest for teams searching for a new head coach. Morris interviewed with the Colts on Friday and will also meet with the Broncos, while Brown has an interview lined up with the Texans.
McVay should try to find a way to retain both coaches, especially Brown. Despite what fans think, Morris did a good job with the defense this season considering the fact that he was missing Aaron Donald for six games and there was endless shuffling at cornerback and outside linebacker.
Brown has the makings of an eventual successor in Los Angeles so keeping him on McVay’s staff is critical.
Ensure Aaron Donald will be back
It should be all but certain that Donald will return in 2023 now that McVay is back, but the Rams have to make sure that’s the case. He said last year he would’ve retired if McVay had done the same, which raised some concern about the possibility that he’d walk away this year if McVay retired.
Obviously, the Rams aren’t going to give Donald more money to stay after giving him huge contract last year, but they need to make sure he’s all-in again this year. It’s hard to imagine him being anything but that.
Explore potential cap-saving moves
The Rams will need to get under the salary cap by the start of the new league year in March, which gives them about two months to sort things out. The easiest way to get under the limit is by cutting players, as painful as that may be.
Leonard Floyd is a potential cap casualty with a $15.5 million cap savings if he’s released with a post-June 1 designation, while Tyler Higbee would save the Rams $6.75 million if he’s cut after June 1. They could also restructure Donald’s deal to kick money into the final year in 2024, but that may not be the best idea if he plans to retire after the 2023 season.