The Kansas City Chiefs are set to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, which means that the bulk of the offseason is right around the corner. Following a disappointing campaign in 2022, the Los Angeles Rams will need to reshape their roster ahead of next season.
Before the Rams begin the new league year in nearly a month, they'll have to get under the salary cap. The reigning Super Bowl champions are currently $14 million over the cap, meaning that they'll need to restructure contracts, release players, or even conduct trades to free up money.
Even though the Rams likely won't have an abundance of money to throw around this offseason, here are five free agents they should consider signing.
C Ethan Pocic
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Brian Allen has been the starting center for the Rams in recent years, but it would be wise to try to upgrade at the position this offseason. Allen has been limited to 32 starts in the last four seasons due to injuries and he's a potential cap casualty with two more years remaining on his current contract.
If the Rams want to add a proven player to snap the ball to Matthew Stafford, then Ethan Pocic is someone worth targeting in free agency. Pocic started in 13 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2022 as he benefited from playing under the renowned offensive line coach Bill Callahan, helping him finish fourth in pass-block and run-block win rate among centers this season.
C Connor McGovern
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Even though the Rams endured a handful of injuries along the offensive line this season, it's been tough to trust Allen to stay healthy. Allen started in only seven games in 2022, making it the third season in the past four where he started in fewer than 10 games.
One center on the open market that has been extremely reliable is Connor McGovern. McGovern has started in 15-plus games in five straight years and logged 969-plus offensive snaps in those five seasons with the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets.
Edge Justin Houston
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Throughout the 2022 season, the edge rushers of the Rams totaled only 11 sacks. Nine of those came from Leonard Floyd and the other two were produced by Justin Hollins and Terrell Lewis, who were both released by the team during the season.
Signing a veteran edge rusher and adding at least one via the draft seems like an ideal strategy for the Rams, with Justin Houston being a viable veteran to target. Despite turning 34 years old last month, Houston registered 9.5 sacks this season (most since 2019) and he tallied 24-plus pressures in back-to-back seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
Edge Melvin Ingram
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The departure of Von Miller last offseason crippled the Rams in the pass-rushing department last offseason. While Floyd remains a formidable edge defender, the Rams should consider bringing in a pure pass rusher via free agency.
Another veteran that continues to prove he's still effective at rushing the quarterback is Melvin Ingram. Ingram posted six sacks in 2022 (most since 2019) with the Miami Dolphins and he's still a productive edge rusher ahead of his age-34 season in 2023.
DT Matt Ioannidis
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The Rams will have to decide whether or not they want to retain A'Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines this offseason. Even if they do elect to bring back one or both of those guys, it wouldn't hurt to bring in a potent interior pass rusher like Matt Ioannidis.
While the Rams should focus on strengthening their edge-rushing unit first, Ioannidis would be a solid piece for the defensive line. Ioannidis may have only recorded one sack this season with the Carolina Panthers, but he was fifth in pass-rush win rate among interior defenders this season.
Story originally appeared on Rams Wire