Rams relying on wholesome Matthew Stafford to offset losses

Rams relying on wholesome Matthew Stafford to offset losses

Sean McVay contemplated many uncertainties, about himself and his group, earlier than deciding to return for his seventh season as coach of the Rams.

However quarterback Matthew Stafford’s bodily situation was apparently not amongst them.

McVay stated Tuesday that there could be “no limitations” on Stafford when the Rams start offseason exercises April 17.

Stafford, a Fifteenth-year professional, performed by proper elbow tendinitis and got here again from a concussion earlier than struggling a season-ending spinal bruise that sidelined him for the ultimate seven video games of the Rams’ embarrassing 5-12 season.

“It’s been a very long time since he’s been wholesome by an offseason, the place he’s been in a position to throw,” McVay stated on the NFL homeowners conferences. “I used to be simply with him the opposite morning the place he was in there early working, having the ability to do the issues which might be in alignment with getting ready for the season.”

Stafford, 35, star receiver Cooper Kupp and star defensive lineman Aaron Donald would be the pillars for a group that’s not on monitor to be bolstered by high-profile offseason additions.

Kupp, 29, is coming off season-ending ankle surgical procedure. Donald, 31, was sidelined the ultimate six video games final season due to an ankle damage.

The usually headline-grabbing Rams are in a serious financial pullback with a watch towards 2024 and constructing by the draft.

So, they’re relying on Stafford to hold them into playoff rivalry.

In 2021, the Rams despatched quarterback Jared Goff, two first-round draft picks and a third-round decide to the Detroit Lions in change for Stafford, the highest decide within the 2009 NFL draft. Stafford made the deal repay by passing for 41 touchdowns in the course of the common season and main the Rams to victory in Tremendous Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

However final spring, Stafford didn’t throw passes throughout offseason exercises and was restricted throughout coaching camp, in order to not exacerbate the tendinitis in his proper elbow. Stafford’s restricted participation affected his capacity to create a rapport with new receiver Allen Robinson amongst others.

Rams receiver Allen Robinson dives but can't make the catch against Dallas in October.

Rams receiver Allen Robinson dives however can’t make the catch in opposition to Dallas in October.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Occasions)

Stafford handed for under 10 touchdowns in 2022 earlier than his season ended after a sack in opposition to the New Orleans Saints.

“Final yr, there was such a singular mixture … of issues that prevented him from having the ability to play the way in which that he’s able to,” McVay stated. “I feel there’s a number of guys on our group that can have a renewed sense of urgency and appreciation for simply getting out and competing.”

Robinson could be a kind of gamers, although he stays in a sort of limbo. The Rams are searching for to commerce the participant with a assured wage of $10 million and an $18-million salary-cap quantity, based on overthecap.com.

Final season, Robinson caught solely 33 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns earlier than struggling a season-ending foot damage.

“Allen is a superb particular person, he’s been an ideal participant for a very long time,” McVay stated when requested how he would deal with the state of affairs if Robinson is on the roster when offseason exercises start. “And so that you discuss to him and say, ‘It is a risk that we’re exploring the place we’d transfer you. But when we don’t, I need you to know I’m going to pour every part I’ve into you as a participant to attempt that will help you attain your highest potential, make it possible for it’s an pleasurable expertise the place you’re keen on coming into work.’

“And in order that’s precisely the place we’ve left it. And so I don’t assume it’s uncomfortable as a result of these are the realities of the state of affairs. And if he’s right here be enthusiastic about it. And if he’s not, want him the perfect in his subsequent cease.”

The Rams stay keen on signing free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who performed for the Rams within the second half of the 2021 season. Beckham suffered a knee damage in the course of the Tremendous Bowl victory and didn’t play final season.

“Love Odell,” McVay stated. “There are particular parameters that restrict what we are able to do. But when that’s a state of affairs that’s introduced to us, I do know that we’d be a greater soccer group if we had been ready to try this.”

The Rams have 11 picks within the draft, although none within the first spherical.

McVay harked to 2017, his first season, when the Rams chosen gamers akin to Kupp, tight finish Gerald Everett, receiver Josh Reynolds, security John Johnson and linebacker Samson Ebukam.

“There was a number of guys from that draft that grew to become foundational components of what we did shifting ahead,” he stated. “And then you definately hit on the blokes that you just add and purchase.

“And in order that’s going to be the important thing factor for us, is we acquired to hit these spots the fitting approach. We’ve acquired to have the ability to have a imaginative and prescient for the gamers that we’re going to onboard after which let’s see how rapidly they’ll develop.”

With Stafford the one quarterback on the roster, “in some kind or style we’ve to have the ability to tackle” who would be the backup, McVay stated.

The Rams may draft a quarterback for the primary time since deciding on Goff in 2016, signal a veteran, or do each.

“You undoubtedly know that that’s going to be a part of what we’ve to do shifting ahead,” he stated. “Whether or not that’s anyone that has expertise or not, we’ll see.”