Rams have lost several key players, say that was part of the plan

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The Rams spent the last couple years making win-now moves, trading first-round draft picks and paying players expensive contracts. This is the year the bill comes due.

Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff says the team understood all along that the 2020 offseason would be a year in which they’d have to say goodbye to some key players.

“Each year, your players change, your team changes and we knew walking into this season there would be tough choices,” Demoff told ESPN. “It’s going to be a different-looking team than the one that left the field in 2019, but I think everybody knew that was going to be the case.”

Among the departures this offseason were Todd Gurley, Clay Matthews and Nickell Robey-Coleman, all of whom were released to save cap space, as well as Dante Fowler, Cory Littleton and Greg Zuerlein, who left in free agency to sign with teams that had more money to offer. Also gone is Eric Weddle, who retired.

The best way to replace departing veterans is the draft, but the Rams are short on draft capital. They’ve traded away this year’s first-round pick and fifth-round pick, and they’ve already traded away next year’s first-round pick, fourth-round pick and fifth-round pick. They also traded away their first-round picks in 2017, 2018 and 2019, so they haven’t had an influx of high-end young talent.

Still, Demoff says anyone who thinks the Rams’ roster won’t be competitive in 2020 is underestimating what General Manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay can do.

“It’s always interesting how we are only a few days into the new league year and people think this is the team that you are going to field come September,” Demoff said. “Not only do we have the draft and the rest of the offseason, I think Les and Sean have always proven they’ll be aggressive fillings holes through trades and other avenues, and this is just the start of what the 2020 Rams will look like.”

This year’s Rams will look a lot different than the team that was in the Super Bowl 13 months ago.

62 responses to “Rams have lost several key players, say that was part of the plan

  1. None of those moves are necessarily as important as the fact that have a crappy QB, who’s getting paid like he’s Joe Montana II.

  2. Several key coaches as well.
    If McVay continues the gimmicks he’ll be out soon enough as well.

  3. Still, Demoff says anyone who thinks the Rams’ roster won’t be competitive in 2020 is underestimating what General Manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay can do.
    ——————————————–
    Right, those who have blundered horribly again and again will now miraculously have the answers going forward.

  4. Prime example of going for it and not making it. No 1st round pick for 5 years and nothing to show for it. How does the Ram’s brass even have a job? No hope down the road in the near future either .. what a mess. Just a casual fan looking at that team and wondering what the heck?

  5. Jalen Ramsey (#20, the guy piling on after the safety makes the tackle in the open field) will cry his way out of there by Week 12. #disrespected #badback

  6. It should be real competitive between LA and AZ for that 3rd place finish in the division this year.

  7. That’s what happens whenever you over pay for a crappy qb. They went for a win now plan, had one good year and have to blow it up.

  8. New England Patriots took them to the woodshed and they’ve never been the same. One year dynasty.

  9. Somehow i don’t think the plan was to release Gurley before ever playing a down of his market setting extension.

    In addition to losing all those players they have traded away 5 picks in the next 2 drafts including both firsts.

    They had to bring back Whitworth on the cheap who will be 39 before the season ends just to have someone to play tackle.

    Brandon Cooks is also on the block and most likely won’t be on the roster come September.

    Who does that leave as a key contributor from 2 years ago? They brought in Ramsey but lost virtually everyone on defense not named Aaron Donald. On the offensive side that would leave Goff and Kupp as last men standing.

    I for one think Goff was part of the problem, especially after teams figured out the way to confuse Goff is change your alignment after McVay can’t tell him what he needs to do.

    No, the Rams will not be competitive. Worst QB/offense in the division.

  10. Feeling a lot better about the Skins losing McVey after that first season he had in LA.

  11. I salute a team that makes a legit attempt at a super bowl. The Rams came close.
    I have no problems with their approach.

    What I do have problems with is some of their stupid moves. They got burned badly on Gurley. They gave up draft stock for players who didn’t pan out. They are locked into a QB who is great behind a good Oline with good receivers and a good running game and lots of time. Take that away from him and he’s not especially good.

    Going for it, coming close, and fading is fine. Just don’t make stupid moves.
    The Rams will need miracle drafting to come back form this anytime soon.

  12. We saw what McVay could do two years ago. But we also saw what happened once Gurley turned from Superman to Clark Kent. Paying Goff and Gurley that much money were two huge mistakes. They will have to weather the storm for a few years until those cap hits come back down to manageable.

  13. The thing that puzzles me is why they didn’t time the peak to coincide with their new stadium opening. Weird how they decided to crater the same year they open their new digs.

  14. “THE PLAN” always seemed to be more about selling PSLs for the new stadium than it did winning a Super Bowl.

  15. Say what you will about Goff. Still haven’t seen him beg out of a playoff game like Carson Wentz did.

    Rams are tied for the fourth most wins over the past three seasons. Horrible blunders, all right. If only we could go back to the glory years of Steve Spagnuolo and Sam Bradford. Oh, we were a dynasty in the making then.

    I know Eagles fans are still grinding over McVay being named the 2017 coach of the year over Doug Pederson but it’s probably time to get over it.

  16. So the plan all along was to bring back Wentworth at 39, who lead the league in holding penalties last year?
    So the plan all along was to bring back Brockers after he failed the Ravens physical AND pay him more money than the Ravens were going to?
    It seems to me that the plan was to infuse new players but without money to pay them found out they had a wrong plan and are now scrambling to CYA. Oh, and by the way, do not believe anything the Kevin tells you!

  17. The team they played against in that Superbowl will also look a lot different this year.

  18. Demoff is the same guy who said that the Ram’s new logo would grow on fans. Demoff is Kroenke’s henchman. All the fans in St Louis know he is a lying puppet and he has little to no respect around the league.

  19. It’s funny how the tides turn so quickly in the NFL. Just a few years ago every other team was searching for the next Sean McVay. Young, inventive coaches were being hired left and right with the hope they could make their version of Goff look like the Goff of year 2 that McVay orchestrated. The fact is the Goff 2.0 was mostly a result of a much improved offensive line as well as an effective running game.

    Fast forward to this last year when their offensive line struggled and the ground game was poor and, surprise, Goff struggled as well. If they can land a decent O-lineman or two in the draft it may change their outlook.


  20. New England Patriots took them to the woodshed and they’ve never been the same.”

    And New England got punked by a running back at home.

    Good luck in the post Brady era. I think the batteries in Belichick’s camcorder have just about run out.

  21. And when they finish with a losing record this season and gift the Jaguars a top 10 pick will that also be “part of the plan”?

  22. It’s not excessive, it’s cyclical and worse by paying guys for (or after) the SB LIII run. Same with Pats for who this happens every other year! The media (except Reiss) all cry Pats’ are in rebuild simply because it includes Brady, but 2018 saw just as many starting Pats leave or retire and they still won that SB! So don’t panic because Gurley Knees and a few others who all the media and most of the haters have actually heard of are gone – make new names. And as for drafts how often have Belichick’s Pats dynasty had plenty of early rounds picks? Zero.

  23. Belichick single-handedly exposed every part of that team in the SB. I know people don’t like Bill a ton, but I have to admit it was fun watching his game-plan mangle the hype-train for Mcvay and send it careening off the tracks into a dumpster that was fully engulfed in flames.

  24. They need to trade Aaron Donald and give themselves a chance.

    Miami would be interested, had the cap space and draft picks to make a deal happen.

  25. Its pretty funny that folks don’t like Goff. The QB with 35 wins before he turns 25 years old.

  26. Real simple, you can divide all the NFL teams into two categories, those that are ascending and will win more games in 2020 than in 2019 and those descending, losing more games in 2020 vs. 2019.

    Care to make a prediction on which category the Rams will fall into?

  27. Meanwhile they are 20 mil over the cap hoarding free agents and will decide in July who they will actually sign and who they will kick back to the curb. It’s always sunny in the Rams front office……even if Gurley was the only reason they were any good.

  28. >Belichick single-handedly exposed every part of that team in the SB. I know people don’t like Bill a ton, but I have to admit it was fun watching his game-plan mangle the hype-train for Mcvay and send it careening off the tracks into a dumpster that was fully engulfed in flames.

    A very oversimplification of what actually happened in that game. Tom Brady was exposed as an over-the-hill 40+ year old in that game missing guys by yards. Truth-be-told, the Patriots were lucky to win that game. That game came down to 3-plays…

    1. Brandin Cooks didn’t secure the ball in the back of the end zone for Rams TD #1
    2. Brandin Cooks didn’t secure the ball in the right flat 5-yards in front of the end zone with enough room to score for Rams TD #2
    3. Rob Gronkowski made a very difficult over-the-shoulder catch setting the Patriots up first-and-goal from inside the Rams 5

    Those 3-plays were the difference in the game… the Patriots executed, the Rams didn’t. Jared Goff made enough throws to win the game hitting Cooks TWICE in the hands once in the end zone the other just in front of the end zone with enough running room to score. Had Cooks secured both balls the narrative of this game and Goff would be vastly different, people would be saying the gutty Rams ended the Patriots reign and that Goff was a grinder.

    Like ALL QBs give Goff a decent OL and he’ll be fine and like all QBs put him behind a poor line which the Rams were last season ranking #31 out of 32 according to PFF.

  29. whatjusthapped says:
    March 29, 2020 at 11:25 am
    Real simple, you can divide all the NFL teams into two categories, those that are ascending and will win more games in 2020 than in 2019 and those descending, losing more games in 2020 vs. 2019.

    Care to make a prediction on which category the Rams will fall into?
    ___________

    Not sure the Rams’ record last season, but I would predict no postseason once again in 2020. I don’t know that they are necessarily trending in one direction or the other.

  30. Thank goodness the Niners will at least have this team to beat up on since Bill O’Brien loves handing star players to the other teams in the division for next to nothing. The West will be brutal this year.

  31. The only one I thought was a key player was Littleton. I’ve watched over the last 20 years how everyone second guessed Belichick for not signing expensive free agents. Sure, he had Brady who covered up a lot of shortcomings. Goff will too. They have an elite franchise QB who’s already led them to the super bowl. He isn’t even in his prime yet. I can say the same for McVay. I’m not comparing the Rams’ front office to Belichick, but it’s a QB league and the Rams have a good QB and a great coach. They’ll compete.

  32. Just another one hit wonder. They have an awful QB and they’re losing good players. They will be an 8-8 team for the next decade at least

  33. Demoff says anyone who thinks the Rams’ roster won’t be competitive in 2020 is underestimating what General Manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay can do.

    I guess they were underestimated last season as well. They went from 13-3 and the Super Bowl to 9-7 and watching the playoffs at home. Did they somehow get better this off-season?

  34. Some Ram fans are trying to say Goff is this great QB. Truth is the Rams passed on the better QB (Wentz). Wentz lead his team to the playoffs last yr especially with the Dallas win where Wentz had practice squad WRs and carried them to a win over the Cowboys and their high powered offense. Goff couldn’t do that. I applaud them always trying to win, but selling out for a ring has consequences if you fail to get it..Cap hell and limited draft picks will room them for yrs now.

  35. I didn’t realize the Rams had traded away that much first round draft capital. That’s crazy.

  36. If I was a Rams fan, I’d be ok with it. Can’t be mad at an organization that does everything to get to the SB and you can’t be mad in hindsight that it didn’t work out now that the bill is due.

  37. I think every other team saw how the Rams manipulated the system by having no huddle, or breaking the huddle early, and giving McVea time to see the defense and tell Goff what to do in that situation. It worked in 2018. Other teams started changing the defense at the last minute last season. Leaving Goff to make his own decisions. Every fan saw how well that worked! It didn’t.

    McVea blamed the defense for everything. Brought in a new DC to change everything around. That can explain the defensive side of the ball. The offensive is a different story. I’m looking for an explanation for that. That’s look like a salary dump at this point.

    The Rams in my mind are going backwards. They’ll probably finish behind the ’49ers, Cards, and Seahawks in the NFC west.

  38. alongthegulf says: “It worked in 2018. Other teams started changing the defense at the last minute last season. Leaving Goff to make his own decisions. Every fan saw how well that worked! It didn’t.”
    ———————

    Um, they had the FOURTH most yards passing (4,499) in 2019. It was their run game (3.7yd avg) that was 28th in the league.

    Sorry if FACTS are getting in your way in trying to blame Goff’s “decision” making skills…

  39. They moved to LA where people don’t care about anything but championships and winners.

    If they had won a Superbowl in the last 2 years that would have set them up for 10 years of fanbase attendance. That is a tough market LA people are all from somewhere else…they don’t really have pride for their city like the Steelers or the Seahawks etc.

    You can’t really blame their approach…it almost worked with a little help from the NFL in the NFCC…

    Like the Giants ended the Patriots hope for a perfect season, the Patriots ended LA’s hope for a superbowl…like the Patriots ended Seattle’s hope for winning back-to-back championships.

    What is very clear is winning championships is HARD…I am glad Andy Reed finally got one.

  40. The only problem the Rams have is the division they play in. The 49ers/ Seahawks/ and Cardinals are highly competitive. 7-9 or 8-8 is the outlook and it doesnt matter who they have on the roster with the talent on these other teams. The best thing they can do is coach up, and keep trying to find bargains via FA and the draft. They cannot afford to draft with team needs this year or next, they will have to stick to a BPA formula and just build on the best talent they can find.

  41. This is what happens when you try to buy a championship. You can’y buy it. You have to build it.

  42. darrenkod says:
    March 29, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Um, they had the FOURTH most yards passing (4,499) in 2019. It was their run game (3.7yd avg) that was 28th in the league.

    Sorry if FACTS are getting in your way in trying to blame Goff’s “decision” making skills…

    ——–

    His QB Rating dropped 15 points and he set a career high in turnovers. Goff was the 28th rated QB of people who threw at least 50 passes for the season, yardage isn’t everything, Just ask the unemployed Jameis Winston who threw for more yards than Goff.

    Winston was the first 30TD/30 turn over QB. Goff had 24TD/ 26 turn over.

  43. Sean McVay is really Mike McCoy. Shorter with more $$ to hype his Skype. Les is killing you coach.

  44. “Belichick single-handedly exposed every part of that team in the SB.”

    =====================================

    Not the defense.

    Everyone keeps talks about the Pats dismantled the Rams, but 13-10 is not exactly dismantling anyone. The Saints put up more points on the Rams-on two occasions last season-than anyone else. Belichick likely saw those game films to see what works.

    The Pats are actually less relevant to the status of the Rams. The Rams ALWAYS were the team they are now. McVay’s gameplan used three formations every game. They got away with it for so long because their players out-talented most defenders. That’s why when Gurley fell off, the offense crashed. Without his athletic ability at its peak, there was no way that they could just hand it off let Gurley out-athlete the defense, which would set their play action up. They ran the same plays over and over again with the slightest of variations to try and disguise their offense. Smart coaches see that coming, and by the end of the year, you’ve seen all that they can offer. Especially in the Superbowl.

    McVay was going to be exposed by someone, at some point. If not for a blatant officiating error he would have never been in that Superbowl to begin with. But he’s not the main issue. The Rams’ GM, Les Snead, was on the cusp of being fired years ago when Fisher was let go. Somehow, he made it through (I guess because Fisher was part of Kroenke’s plan to make the stink before relocating-you can’t move a winning team), and then tried to buy a Superbowl team. His methods have not changed, as illustrated by the trade for Ramsey. Buying up superstars is great for ticket sales, but no matter they are, when that many players come together from different places and have to suddenly mesh together, it’s hard to get a cohesive working product.

    Some Rams starters acquired by either trade or free agency that year off the top of my head: Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Dante Fowler, NDamukong Suh, Andrew Whitworth, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, John Sullivan, Austin Blythe, and Mark Barron. Of these, only one player-Mark Barron-had been on the team for more than one year. That’s it. The Rams bought their Superbowl team, and then hired a coach who seems like a smart and nice guy, but has a simplistic and highly overrated gameplan and was far too reluctant to deviate from it in the Superbowl due to his inexperience. Snead has, since then, repeated his mistakes by organizing a catastrophic trade for a top corner after losing nearly all of his acquisitions since 2017, and many of his homegrown players as well. Jared Goff, ironically enough, has the least blame in all of this.

  45. “underestimating what General Manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay can do”
    _____________

    The guy that got them into cap hell in the first place and the coach who led them to a big dropoff last season?

  46. As an LA football fan, rams fan….I don’t care what they did, they came back to LA, they went to a Super Bowl and held a very good team that has 6 championships to 3 points till halfway into he 4th quarter. they are building a news stadium on their own dime. LOS ANGELeS RAMS….still can’t believe it.

  47. Per OverTheCap, the Rams have only lost 5 players – they’ve traded more away but they have lost less than the Pats and Panthers who have each lost 7 and the Boys who have lost 8.

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