Free Agency 2017: An oddly active offseason draws mixed reviews for L.A. Rams

Two weeks of free agency are in the books for 2017, and Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead surprised the league with his active approach this offseason. Plenty of additions and subtractions accommodate the newly appointed coaching staff:

CB Trumaine Johnson franchise tagged (1-year, $16.742 million)                        

To sum it up entirely, Johnson isn’t worth the value of the tag. That said, the Rams do need their star cornerback. They need help in the secondary, so letting Johnson walk into free agency for “free” wasn’t an option. I will be more supportive of the transaction if they can trade him.

Grade: C

LT Andrew Whitworth signed (3 years, $33.75 million)

The entire Rams offense needed the deal to get done. Whitworth was the best left tackle available, and the Rams fill a huge need. They shift Greg Robinson over to guard and will compete for a starting role. Seems like an all-around win to me. May be a bit pricey, but if Jared Goff and Todd Gurley perform well, it will be worth every penny.

Grade: A-

WR Robert Woods signed (5 years, $34 million)

This signing continues to baffle me. The Rams lost the services of Kenny Britt, and were in the market for No. 1 receiver, but Woods doesn’t fit that description. The one redeeming quality of this signing is that he is consistent with his pass catching, which was a huge issue in Los Angeles. It’s difficult to justify the value of his contract with all factors in mind.

Grade: D

QB Aaron Murray signed

Not much to speak of this signing. Murray will be a third stringer or a camp body. The only real positive is that the Rams appear to be moving away from Case Keenum. They really should have looked elsewhere or drafted a QB in the later rounds.

Grade: D

C Tim Barnes cut (Saved $3 million in cap space)

Barnes played inconsistently throughout his career. Attempting to find a better replacement and saving $3 million in process is a bonus. Still, they need to find a replacement soon.

Grade: A

DE William Hayes traded to Miami Dolphins for 6th round pick (206th overall)

The Rams switched over to a 3-4 defense with the addition of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and Hayes won’t fit well in this scheme. It was good to move Hayes and save some money, but they should have been able to get more than just a sixth-round pick. It doesn’t help that the Rams’ seventh-round pick was included. Can I get a “C’Mon Man?”

Grade: F

TE Lance Kendricks cut (Saved $4.25 million in cap space)

Why didn’t this happen sooner? Kendricks has potential, but never panned out. He had too many dropped passes in the second half of last season. This does leave the Rams with relying on a younger Tyler Higbee, and he didn’t exactly impress last season. Still, I do like saving nearly $5 million in cap space.

Grade: A-

RB Tre Mason cut (Saved $752,257 in cap space)

My apologies for my previous comments about Kendricks, why didn’t this happen sooner? The Rams rid themselves of a troubled player and save some cash in the process. Enough said.

Grade: A+

DE Eugene Sims cut (Saved $3.35 million in cap space)

Sims did a solid job his entire career with the Rams, but switching over to a 3-4 defense means his services are no longer needed. That cap space needs to go elsewhere sadly.

Grade: A

CB Kayvon Webster signed (2-years, $8 million)

Webster has been more valued for his special teams skills than his skills at cornerback. It’s difficult to know what the Rams are receiving with Webster since he didn’t receive much playing time with a loaded secondary in Denver. Still, if he becomes a decent starter, $4 million a year is a steal. If nothing else, he is quality depth.

Grade: B

K Greg Zuerlein re-signed (3-years, $6.75 million)

After a disappointing 2015 campaign, it was great to see Zuerlein bounce back last season. This contract was his reward and it’s a fair contract.

Grade: B

LS Andrew East signed

Jake McQuaide needs competition, right?

Grade: N/A

RB Lance Dunbar signed (1-year, $3 million)

The Rams should have brought back Benny Cunningham, but it appears they wanted a speedster in Dunbar. Dunbar does provide a different element to the team and can be a dangerous receiver in the backfield. If used properly, Dunbar can be a weapon.

Grade: B

OLB Connor Barwin signed (1-year, $6.5 million)

This signing is quite possibly the best move of the offseason. Barwin is a veteran linebacker, who is familiar with Phillips’s scheme. He comes at an affordable price and provides much needed stability at linebacker.

Grade: A+

Overall Grade: C+

The Rams are likely not done with free agency, but some of those moves are questionable at best. That said, plenty of quality moves to make it a slightly above average offseason so far.

Source: Spotrac.com

You can follow Johnny Gomez on Twitter @Johnny5not6. Be sure to follow Rams Talk on Twitter @TalkRams.

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