What a difference a year makes. Last off-season, the Los Angeles Rams were the Super Bowl champions and added a bunch of talent in free agency. They signed two of the biggest names on the market — Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson. Now, Wagner is gone and the Rams are trying desperately to get out of Robinson’s contract after a really poor season.
There is no legal California sports betting but there is plenty of wagering around the country on California pro and college teams.
Two California betting initiatives failed on last November’s ballot. Other measures are sure to follow to eventually have the state join 30 or so others that do have legal wagering.
In the meantime, BetCalifornia.com is here to get you familiarized with stories about wagering in the state. In this story we focus on the Rams heading into free agency. We also point out successes and failures for previous Rams free agents as well as look at the 2023 odds for the team.
NFL free agency starts officially 4 p.m. Wednesday. The legal negotiating period begins at noon today, and any moves made will surely impact the Rams playoff chances next season.
Where LA Rams Need to Focus
The Rams already have traded Jalen Ramsey this off-season (to Miami for just a third-round pick and TE Hunter Long) and have released Leonard Floyd. It’s clear the Rams are trying to reset their roster after going all-in for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The Rams enter the 2023 off-season slightly over the cap, but they will do some adjustments before the new league year to get under. They have a handful of solid contributors expected to hit the open market, including defensive tackles A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines. They are also expected to lose SS Taylor Rapp, who had a nice season in 2022.
So, what can the Rams do this off-season to improve their roster? Well, for starters, they can avoid signing older veterans who won’t be part of the rebuild. The Rams already have a few older stars on their team, including Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald. What they need are young players on cheap contracts to help retool the roster.
Cornerback is expected to be a spot where they look for cheap help after the trade of Ramsey. But cornerbacks usually don’t come cheap in free agency. However, there are always a few players who go under-the-radar and wind up becoming big values on the open market. Sean Murphy-Bunting (Buccaneers) might be someone worth targeting for the Rams as he’s just 25 years old and has played in a bunch of games for Tampa Bay. His play has been up-and-down over the last few years, but he’s an incredibly talented cornerback with the size and physicality to play on the outside.
Another position the Rams could look to upgrade is the interior of their offensive line. That was arguably their biggest weakness last season, and there aren’t many long-term options on the roster. But guards can be cheap in free agency and someone like Connor McGovern (Cowboys) could be a solid option. McGovern has played more than 2,000 snaps in the last three seasons and isn’t expected to earn more than $3 million per year. At age 25, there is a chance his best football is still ahead of him. For that reason, he could be a quality signing for a team like the Rams that is in desperate need of offensive line help.
This is expected to be a pretty slow off-season for the Rams as they just don’t have a ton of cap space and do not own their No. 1 pick due to the Stafford trade. For that reason, look for the Rams to be relatively quiet this off-season as they attempt to tear things down after their Super Bowl win in 2021.
Rams and Free Agency
BetCalifornia.com — your source for California sportsbook promo codes — looks at some recent free agent moves by the Los Angeles Rams.
Free Agent Hits
Free Agent Misses
What Do Oddsmakers Expect from 2023 Rams?
There are no legal sportsbooks in California but the national oddsmakers already have set lines for the 2023 season.
FanDuel, for one, has the Rams at +3000 to win the Super Bowl. That ranks 14th of the NFL’s 32 teams.
The Rams (+310) are the second pick in the NFC West, behind the San Francisco 49ers (-160) and ahead of the Seattle Seahawks (+450) and Arizona Cardinals (+2400).