EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The offseason is here for the Los Angeles Rams and now that we know where they'll be playing their home games for the long term, things have settled down enough to spend our weekends answering a few of your Twitter questions.
As always, you can find me on Twitter @nwagoner and fire away with any Rams-related questions you might have. Please use hashtag #RamsMail so I can see them.
On to your questions.
It's an interesting question, and it's one that can really only be answered when we get there. The Rams have a lot of free agents so there will be ample sample size to find out how it helps in retaining their own as well as adding from the outside. I also have wondered if the Rams have been unable to get deals done with some of their own free agents until their future was settled. From an agent's perspective, a deal is worth less in Los Angeles than it was in St. Louis based on state income tax so it's possible it factored in to some of those discussions. On the other side, there's no doubt that Los Angeles offers a more appealing lifestyle to many players, particularly the younger, single types. The weather is better and, as you point out, there's more endorsement opportunities. I tend to think that in general, it won't make a huge difference either way. Most players want the same thing that Rams owner Stan Kroenke wanted when he elected to move the team: the most money possible. That will always be the primary goal for free agents. If the Rams are competitive in that regard, perhaps the L.A. lifestyle could be a tiebreaker, but it's not likely to be the primary reason for a player signing, no matter what they might say after the fact.
I wrote about Long's future a couple of weeks ago here at ESPN.com, but we can revisit. At this point, it seems unlikely he returns, especially under his current contract which calls for a salary cap hit of more than $14 million. By his own admission, his production the past two years hasn't met his salary, and he knows that puts him in a precarious position moving forward. He told me that he's open to coming back at a reduced rate, but it could be difficult to make it work. It's a very real possibility he has played his last game as a Ram. As for the secondary, the Rams have interest in bringing back all four of the starters from that group: Rodney McLeod
, Mark Barron
, Janoris Jenkins
and Trumaine Johnson
. It also might not be possible to make that happen. My hunch is that they'd prefer to keep Jenkins over Johnson if forced to choose but also know that Johnson might be cheaper to retain. They are still going through the process of figuring out Barron's best fit, and until they do that it will be difficult to put a dollar value on him. There could be some shuffling on the back end depending on how it all plays out. There's no doubt that the Rams' offseason will be shaped largely by what happens with their defensive backs.