Setting a direction for the Rams this offseason

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Last week, ESPN's Bill Barnwell rolled out an interesting series with a look at five offseason moves for every NFL team to make in order to improve.

On Friday, it was time to look at the NFC West division and, of course, the Los Angeles Rams. As it turned out, the Rams ended up addressing a couple of Barnwell's suggestions on Friday afternoon.

To start this week, let's take a look at each suggestion and offer a quick thought:

1. Cut tight end Jared Cook

My take: This move was clearly coming and the Rams went ahead and did it on Friday.

2. Restructure Chris Long's deal as part of an extension

My take: Although Long told me in January that he'd be open to a pay cut, the reality all along was that a release was the most likely outcome. And the Rams released Long on Friday.

3. Sign their young defensive core

My take: Barnwell advocates signing defensive tackle Michael Brockers, safety T.J. McDonald and, potentially, Alec Ogletree (who they have a fifth-year option on still). He also mentions receiver Tavon Austin, who also has a fifth-year option the Rams will have to decide on this offseason. This doesn't even make mention of the key secondary pieces that are about to hit free agency this year. But there's a lot of logic to be found in trying to get these deals done sooner than later. As I wrote last week, one of the good things about having so much cap space is that the Rams will have room to re-sign their own players, including the ones who are not yet to free agency.

4. Add veteran help at cornerback

My take: This is one thing I don't see happening or being a part of the Rams' offseason. The idea here is that the Rams will lose both starting cornerbacks in Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson to free agency. But I think it's extremely unlikely that happens. In fact, there's a better chance the Rams keep both of them than lose them. With the amount of cap space they have and the tag available, it's a good bet that Johnson or Jenkins will return, if not both. Even if only one stays, the Rams would still have that player plus E.J. Gaines, Lamarcus Joyner and Marcus Roberson, which would make adding a veteran corner unnecessary.

5. Sign Robert Griffin III

My take: The Rams need quarterback help and we have discussed Griffin multiple times in this space. I agree with Barnwell in that we don't know that Griffin is the answer and there's a strong possibility that he wouldn't be. But it's also unlikely any options out there will be a guaranteed upgrade over what the Rams already have at the position. Griffin does fit the Rams in some sense because he has shown the ability to extend plays with his legs and throw the deep ball. He would at least offer some upside if the top names like Brock Osweiler, Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick stay put, as expected.


A roundup of the weekend's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... We began Friday with a look at the Rams' efforts to finalize their training plans in Los Angeles. ... The Ram-blings began by putting kicker Greg Zuerlein's future under the microscope. ... We then had the news that the Rams released Long, Cook and linebacker James Laurinaitis. ... The Rams made those moves in an effort to keep their own key young defenders. ... Laurinaitis believes he still has plenty of football left in him. ... Saturday's Twitter mailbag focused on how the Rams are prioritizing their free agents. ... Sunday's Twitter mailbag examined quarterback Sean Mannion's role in 2016.


ESPN's Adam Caplan discussed Griffin's potential fit with the Rams.

Don Van Natta joined Dan Le Batard to talk about the Rams' move to Los Angeles.

Ryan Clark said that Friday's cuts are a part of the NFL business.

Browns reporter Pat McManamon wonders if drafting a quarterback at No. 2 this year is worth the risk.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Rams hired a new chief revenue officer from the Bears for their Inglewood stadium complex.