Rams say Corey Bojorquez wasn’t signed to compete with Johnny Hekker

  • 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
·3 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.

With limited spending money in free agency, the Los Angeles Rams took a frugal approach this offseason by signing only a few players. One of them was former Bills punter Corey Bojorquez, who was also the most recent addition to the team.

It was a move that surprised some fans and caused them to question whether the Rams are planning to make a change at punter. Bojorquez led the NFL in yards per punt last season and considering the Rams already had a backup punter on the 90-man squad in Brandon Wright, the signing of Bojorquez raised some eyebrows.

But Sean McVay and Les Snead said in their pre-draft press conference that Bojorquez wasn’t signed to compete with Hekker. Snead said it was an opportunity to sign someone that the scouting staff identified as a good player after he put together a strong 2020 season, giving the Rams another specialist as a COVID-19 backup.

“It’s when a player comes available, it’s a chance to add – and I think, obviously Johnny’s resume speaks for itself,” Snead said. “Right now I think we’ve got the most specialists of probably anybody in the league. We have probably seven. Probably got two kickers, two punters and one guy who can kick and punt and two long snappers, but I know we began that a little bit last year, because during COVID if you did have an outbreak and you did lose some players, if you lost a corner, there’s usually three, four or five others that you have an answer for, but with the specialist, if you lose anyone in contact tracing, there’s truly no answers, so it goes under that bucket.”

McVay was then asked to clarify if the addition of Bojorquez is about there being a punting competition. He said, “no, it’s not” before Snead jumped in again and added his two cents.

“Well, I think anytime you go to the practice field it’s a competition, but no,” Snead said.

It’s understandable to bring in a punter as a contingency plan in this COVID-19 era, but it still feels like this move was a way to push Hekker. He has a cap hit of $4.9 million in 2021, which is $1.5 million more than any other punter in the NFL. He’s coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, too, and the Rams just signed a guy who led the league in yards per punt.

And when Snead was first asked about the addition of Bojorquez, he said it’s a move that’s in the “Nickell Robey Bucket.” He named players such as Nickell Robey-Coleman, Ramik Wilson, Austin Blythe, Troy Hill, Darious Williams and Devlin Hodges as guys who fall into that category after they were waived, not re-signed by their previous team or didn’t get tendered as restricted free agents.

All of those players (except Hodges) started for the Rams at one point or another, making the comparison even more interesting.

It’s possible Snead and McVay are telling the truth about this not being a punting competition. But if training camp rolls around and Bojorquez is clearly outperforming Hekker, would the Rams seriously not consider making a switch – especially given Hekker’s contract?

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.