The Los Angeles Rams have been among the most active teams this offseason and after signing Ndamukong Suh, they are the way-too-early Super Bowl favorites.
There has been no team in the NFL who has had a splashier offseason than the Rams. After winning the NFC West and a first-round bye last year, the Rams were bounced in their first playoff game by the playoff-tested Atlanta Falcons. After a series of moves in the trade market and free agency, the Rams are hopeful to take the next step toward a Super Bowl.
The latest move may be the difference as they signed former All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a one-year deal for $14 million. Suh reportedly took less money to sign with the Rams and line up next to All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald. That may be the most formidable tackle tandem in the NFL this year and one of the best in a long time. Donald is still ascending and could be the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and Suh, while, not at his peak, should benefit greatly from not being the focus of double-teams on nearly every play with Donald beside him.
Building a defense is all about rushing the passer and stopping the pass. The Rams checked the first box with the Suh addition, but they tackled the second part via the trade market.
The Rams made the best move of the offseason when they traded for Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters. He will be extra motivated after the Chiefs got rid of him for less than top dollar and could be poised for another eight interceptions or so this year.
They didn’t stop there as they doubled down and traded for Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, giving the Rams a pair of shutdown corners.
This defense is going to be ferocious. Good luck trying to run or pass on this Wade Phillips-coached unit.
The old cliche is you win championships with defense, and while that’s true to an extent, you don’t get there without being able to score points and the Rams offense is scratching the surface with how great they can be.
Running back Todd Gurley is coming off a year where he won the Offensive Player of the Year and former first overall pick, quarterback Jared Goff had a breakout year. With Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp returning at wide receiver and Pharoh Cooper and Josh Reynolds poised for breakout seasons, the Rams have a nice bevy of weapons for Goff to work with. Plus, if they get anything out of former top-10 pick Tavon Austin this year, this offense could be electric.
No disrespect to the Eagles, Patriots, Steelers, Vikings or the other teams poised to compete for the Lombardi Trophy, but the Rams have the best roster in the NFL entering the draft next month. There’s plenty of moves still to be made, there will be the more cuts in June and a lot can happen during the preseason and regular season, but with the addition of Suh, Peters and Talib to the returning core, the Rams are your early Super Bowl favorites.