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PFF named favorite, least favorite Rams’ free agency moves

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By: Evan Craig

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Rams received a mixed reaction for how they addressed the O-line this offseason

The second week of free agency is gradually coming to a close for the L.A. Rams. Los Angeles has had another quality offseason so far which should boost their chances ahead of the 2024 campaign.

Most notably, the Rams made some moves along the offensive line. First was re-signing Kevin Dotson and the other was signing Jonah Jackson away from the Detroit Lions. Both moves received mixed reviews from PFF’s Brad Spielberger, who named his favorite and least favorite free agency moves from all 32 teams.

Re-signing Dotson to a three-year $48 million deal was Spielberger’s favorite move for the Rams as mentioned in his March 21 article:

“A trade to the Los Angeles Rams and a move back to his natural spot at right guard proved to be a slam-dunk success for all parties involved. Dotson took a minor pay cut off his proven performance escalator salary for 2023 and is now signed to a top-of-market deal at guard just 12 months later.”

Dotson played lights out for LA since being traded to Hollywood in August 2023. He played at an All-Pro level, allowing only four sacks in a dominant season. Retaining a player of his caliber was at the top of the list for the Rams and the front office was fortunate enough to keep him around.

While the Dotson move was widely praised, Spielberger was not all that high on the team adding Jackson. The veteran lineman signed a three-year $51 million deal with the Rams in free agency and became the PFF analyst’s least favorite Rams move:

“This is an interesting deal for a few reasons. First, the Rams got great play at left guard from rookie Steve Avila. Second, the Rams just extended right guard Kevin Dotson to a three-year, $48 million extension last week. Third, they still have question marks at both tackle spots. However, they should have an absolutely bruising run game between the tackles. We were underwhelmed by Jackson’s pass-blocking ability on his 2023 film, but the league clearly viewed him as an ascending young player, because his market was very strong and he was able to match the three-year term that Dotson got — a big win.”

Following that horrific 2022 season where the Rams’ O-line couldn’t block to save their lives, beefing up in the trenches is always a great idea. There might be concerns that LA overspent where that specific need along the line wasn’t a necessity, given the commitments to Avila and Dotson.

Again, prioritizing the line in any way possible is never a bad thing. Jackson was a Pro Bowl player at one point in his career. The Rams acquiring him signifies that LA is going to absolutely bully opposing teams up front and you know I’m here for that.

It’s always interesting to see how analysts and those in the media grade free agency moves immediately instead of waiting for the beginning of the regular season. Of course none of it truly matters once the games kick off.