The second week of the 2016 NFL free agency brought yet another somewhat quiet week for the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams seem to be playing the offseason safe by retaining most of their free agents. However, the Rams have made some moves, but they were made for depth purposes.
Here’s how the second week played out:
RB Benny Cunningham is offered a low-tier tender
The Rams placed a low-tier tender on running back Benny Cunningham, which is worth $1.641 million. This means that teams can still make an offer to Cunningham, and if the Rams refuse to match the offer, they will be awarded a compensatory draft pick that matches the round the player was drafted. In this case, Cunningham was an undrafted free agent so the Rams will receive nothing. It’s vital that the Rams keep Cunningham especially after fellow running back Tre Mason may face suspension after being arrested earlier this year for possession of drugs and traffic violations.
ILB Daren Bates signed with the Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders signed Bates, but the contract details have yet to be revealed. While Bates wasn’t a household name, he was actually a huge contributor to the Rams’ special teams. The Rams will need to add depth at the linebacker spot, particularly on the inside, at some point during the offseason.
CB Coty Sensabaugh signed with the Rams
The Rams signed Sensabaugh to a 3-year deal worth $14 million, which can jump up to $19 million with incentives. This signing came days after former Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins signed with the Giants. Sensabaugh will compete with E.J. Gaines for a starting role opposite of Trumaine Johnson. Regardless Sensabaugh will provide much needed depth at the cornerback position.
FB/TE Cory Harkey re-signed
Harkey signed a 3-year, $5.7 million contract with the Rams, bringing back a much needed blocking fullback and tight end. While Harkey will lineup situationally at tight end, expect the Rams to continue to shop around for tight ends since they cut Jared Cook. Harkey is mostly a fullback anyways.
DE Chris Long signed with the New England Patriots
The Rams cut defensive end Chris Long to create more salary cap space. The Patriots seen Long as an opportunity, and traded Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second round draft pick. Long signed a 1-year, $2 million contract providing a much cheaper option, and could be a steal if Long returns to form.
DE Quinton Coples signed with the Rams
The Rams signed Robert Quinn’s former teammate at UNC, Quinton Coples to 2-year, $6.5 million contract that can reach $9.75 million with incentives. The ex-Jets defensive lineman hasn’t made that big of an impact, but he has shown flashes of potential. If anyone can tap into that potential, it’s Rams’ defensive coordinator Greg Williams. Another lethal pass rusher in “Sack City” could be dangerous to opposing offenses.
MLB James Laurinaitis signed with the New Orleans Saints
The Rams cut Laurinaitis in order to clear some salary cap space. Laurinaitis was a solid linebacker during his time with the Rams, and the Saints hope he can continue to that kind of production. The contract details haven’t been announced yet, but the Saints added a much needed veteran leader for their linebacker corps.