Are the Los Angeles Rams sending a competitive message to the 49ers?

Sequoia Sims
Mar 26, 2018 at 11:12 PM


The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to terms with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on a one-year deal, worth up to $14 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.


The Los Angeles Rams have had an extremely active offseason with the key additions of cornerbacks Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Sam Shields, as well as the re-signing of Nickell Robey-Coleman.

And it doesn't stop there; enter safety Lamarcus Joyner (franchised tagged), defensive tackle Dominique Easley (re-signed), starting center John Sullivan (re-signed) and one of the biggest names of the group, Ndamukong Suh.

The Rams have signed and re-signed a host of quality depth and role players as well (all Ram's transactions courtesy of FoxSports.com).

On paper, and even from the pre-eyeball test, the Rams have made up for the notable losses of cornerback Trumaine Johnson (signed with the New York Jets in free agency), pass-rusher Robert Quinn (traded to the Miami Dolphins) and linebacker Alec Ogletree (traded to the New York Giants). And there's still room to add talent (via the NFL draft) to the second-youngest roster in the NFL last season.

Suh's resume at a glance:


In eight seasons, Suh has 422 combined tackles, 28 passes defended, four forced fumbles and 51.5 sacks (second-most in the NFL since 2010, 4.5 sacks in 2017). Suh has remarkable durability, having started and played 126 out of the available 128 games. Suh is nasty and mean and has been labeled as a dirty player as part of his resume.

But whether you like Suh or not, he's still an accomplished player with unquestioned credentials on that same resume: five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro.

Are the Los Angeles Rams sending a competitive message to the 49ers?


Based on the Rams' additions (Jimmy Garoppolo effect), the history of Rams' head coach Sean McVay with 49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan (McVay worked under Shanahan with the Washington Redskins), and factoring in the Rams winning the division last season, there's a competitive connection and message being sent by the Rams.

The Rams also know the 49ers are chasing them in the division.

Why did Suh take a one-year deal?


Here's a theory that ties into my closing argument. The Rams are projected to have over $100 million in cap space in 2019 (per OverTheCap.com). The Rams plan to be ultra-competitive and around for a while, locking up their core players like quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, and the Defensive Player of the Year, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, is part of that process.

There is plenty of money left over for Suh and more additions. Will players take less money to play in Los Angeles in the future? Only time will tell. However, Suh just took less money.

Important to note: On the defensive side of the ball, Talib, Peters, Shields, Suh, and Donald all have Pro Bowl or All-Pro credentials. Only two active defensive tackles are three-time first-team All-Pro. They are Suh and Donald, who now play together.

Pro Football Focus warns opposing NFC West offensive coordinators of the Rams' new-look defense. However, don't expect 49ers' wide receiver Pierre Garçon to be worried or scared of the Rams' defense.

Now more than ever, the 49ers must address/counter the Rams moves in the NFL draft with more protection for Jimmy G, and per an article I wrote recently on the 49ers Webzone entitled "2018 NFL draft: No Pass-Rusher, 'No Rings,'" it's time for the 49ers to fight fire with fire. Are your eyes wide open? Is there a part two to this article? To be continued…

Recent Niners Live article alerts: Looking at Jimmie Ward getting more time at cornerback.

Sequoia Sims: Founder of Niners Live, Content Creator, player breakdown specialist, and Senior Author. The home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, and different perspective, of course.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • Marty
    LA is making a one year run. SF is building for the future. Donald held out last season & loss. Now Suh walks in & gets Donald's money. I have not heard much from Donald. Along with Donald's big big contract Gruley, Goff & Peterson are about to end their rookie contracts. 2018 will be about Shanahan vs McVay & Garoppolo vs Goff.
    Mar 27, 2018 at 5:30 AM
    3

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