Who Will Sean McVay Target?
The Los Angeles Rams flexed an impressive well-balanced offense in the 2020-2021 season. Sean McVay’s orchestra finished 11th in total offense, 10th in rushing offense, and 13th in passing offense. These are very impressive statistics given the personal: Jared Goff at QB, rookie Cam Akers at RB, and two modest, but not elite wideouts in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
Looking ahead, the Rams offense will look to signifcantly improve their production. Matthew Stafford was brought in to replace Jared Goff as the signal caller. Cam Akers will be entering his second year, as well.
Despite the notion that Sean McVay has garnered a gifted QB to work with, there will be some holes to fill for the offense this offseason. RB Malcolm Brown is a free agent, TE Gerald Everett is a free agent, and the third WR Josh Reynolds is a free agent.
Where could the mastermind McVay look to find adequate replacements? The draft could be a possibility, but they will likely look to find seasoned players on value deals given their aim to “win now”, despite being buried in cap space (30th in the NFL in cap space). So, as free agency inches closer and closer — I’m going to unwind the potential targets for Sean McVay’s talented squad.
Sean McVay’s offense is hurting for a player that can burn defenses over the top. Brandin Cooks has been out and now they need to finally get his replacement — especially with Matthew Stafford at QB.
John Ross could resurrect his career and fill in the shoes left by Brandin Cooks for Sean McVay. It’s safe to say that Ross hasn’t lived up to his NFL combine record in the 40 yard dash, but it’s not all his fault. John Ross’s coach Zac Taylor was also the Rams QB coach under Sean McVay.
The Bengals have slowly phased Ross out of future plans with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and AJ Green. The Bengals QB play and protection to be consistent in the deep passing game is more than abysmal, too. It’s inevitable that Ross will likely lace up the cleats elsewhere next year.
Ross only has three games in 2020 to his resume, but his 2019 campaign was impressive and showed lots of glimpses what he’s capable of. He averaged a whopping 18.1 YPC and 63.8 YPG. That’s not only impressive average game performances, but that’s remarkable for the horrid offense he was apart of in 2019.
Due to Ross’s injury, he will have to take a prove-it deal. Sean McVay has to figure out how Ross’s injury looks and what type of contract would fit on a short-term scale (one, two, or three). There’s not a better price/player/role than John Ross in a Los Angeles Rams uniform.
Jared Cook-TE-New Orleans Saints
The Los Angeles Rams could get a great pickup in Jared Cook and bring him to being a Ram. Cook could formulate a solid 1-2 punch at TE with Tyler Higbee.
Even though everybody saw Cook cough up the football on live television against the Buccaneers, Cook impressively has 22 touchdowns over the last three years. The Saints TE also has made the Pro Bowl in two out of the last three years (only made two Pro Bowls in his whole career).
Cook may be an aging 33 year old TE with some bad memories by many fans not familar with Cook or the Saints, but he ought to be on McVay’s wishlist if he wants a replacement for Gerald Everett. Cook’s speed down the seam in Sean McVay’s offense with Matthew Stafford throwing the ball could be a beautiful scene.
If the Rams could get Cook on a two or three year deal for $4-6 million a year, they could utilize his talent in their scheme to exceed that price and come out with a great value pickup.
Antonio Brown-WR-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tompa Bay Buccaneers brought in Antonio Brown during the middle of the 2020 season to help their efforts in reaching a Super Bowl. Signing AB was clearly a Super Bowl or bust move for Bruce Arians.
The Buccaneers have several key players that have long-term potential in Tampa Bay, so it seems likely that the 32-year-old Brown doesn’t return to the Buccaneers. Buccaneers also have Scotty Miller to back up AB and Godwin to most likely get resigned at WR, so Brown isn’t a dire target for Arians.
Brown showed that he has some gas left in the tank in his Super Bowl game performance: 5 catches, 22 yards, and a touchdown( just before halftime). Brown had nearly 500 receiving yards (483), 4 touchdowns, and a career-high catch rate (not counting 2010) of 72.6% in just eight games last year.
Brown will more than likely have to sign a shorter deal with less than desirable money if he wants to play moving forward. Playing for another Super Bowl contender in a nice location for another brilliant system would make sense. Insert AB into the Rams offense, alongside Kupp, Woods, and Stafford throwing the pigskin.