It’s hard to think badly about how the Los Angeles Rams have approached their offseason after winning Super Bowl LVI. Having extended Matthew Stafford, adding Pro Bowl talent on both sides of the ball with Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner, they’ve made considerable improvements to an already strong roster. But indications are, they’re not done yet, by reaching out to Stephon Gilmore’s camp in free agency.
According to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, the Rams “have been in contact” with Gilmore now that he’s an unrestricted free agent. Rodrigue also adds that she hasn’t “gotten the sense” that the Rams are discussing anything with Tyrann Mathieu, another top defensive free agent.
As far as Gilmore, the team could be gauging Gilmore’s interest in playing at a much-reduced rate than he’s typically used to. With much of the Rams’ 2022 budget already spent, Gilmore may have to take a lesser offer to join the defending champions. Rodrigue notes the Rams’ offer to Gilmore would be “much lower” than what he originally anticipated in free agency.
- Stephon Gilmore contract in 2021: $6.17 million cap hit
We’ll see what he’s after at this stage of the offseason. Will Gilmore be inclined to take less pay to have a better chance at winning? Or can he still find a team willing to offer both?
Gilmore hasn’t gotten any strong offers
Despite having won the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback hasn’t generated much interest up to this point. Perhaps he is asking for too much and teams know that thanks to clear communication from his agency.
After being traded just before the deadline for a 2023 sixth-round pick, the initial feeling was that the Panthers had just committed robbery, but now it may be a lucky team who commits robbery in free agency by signing Gilmore for a fraction of the cost.
If Gilmore is just looking at one-year offers with similar dollar amounts, why not join an elite Rams defense featuring a fellow DPOY? How many other teams offer a similar situation along with having a shutdown cornerback in Jalen Ramsey on the opposite side of the field?
Rams offer best chance to win another Super Bowl with Gilmore
By all appearances, Gilmore wants to find a way back to the Super Bowl, which he won with the Patriots in 2018. Being that the Rams are the team who have been there and won most recently, they would appear to be a strong fit for Gilmore’s services. They have strong leadership not only from the coaching staff, but also on the field thanks to their many veteran leaders in Stafford, Donald, and Ramsey.
Gilmore would fit right into the core of the elder statesmen, just as Von Miller did a season ago, helping an already deeply talented team reach the pinnacle. If a Super Bowl is what he wants, the Rams would appear to offer the best chance to win.
Signing Stephon Gilmore fits Rams’ all-in mentality
We’ve seen the mentality from general manager Les Snead over the past few seasons, the Rams are all-in. It certainly worked a year ago, and by all indications, that plan hasn’t changed at all going forward, and why should it? The approach worked.
- Stephon Gilmore stats: 125 starts, 427 TKL, 27 INT, 116 PD, 6 FF, 3 FR, 1 Sack, 8 TFL
Adding Gilmore wouldn’t alter their ability to extend Aaron Donald or Cooper Kupp. Gilmore appears to be looking at an incentive-based contract, or one that rewards him based on potential 2022 accomplishments with the Rams as a team. With 27 career interceptions, not only is Gilmore an impact playmaker, he’s also still just 31 and could have several more effective years in the tank. If you’re the Rams, signing Gilmore is a gamble that doesn’t come with many risks for next season.