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This is still the best free agent the Rams could sign

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By: Evan Craig

Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Rams should sign free agent safety Justin Simmons, still at the top of his game

The Los Angeles Rams have added to the safety position this offseason through free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft, first signing Kamren Curl and then drafting Miami star Kamren Kinchens in the third round helped strengthen a secondary that largely lacked firepower. I still argue that LA could do more which is why I’m pushing for the Rams to consider signing free agent Justin Simmons.

This free agency period saw several top-tier safeties hit the open market like never before. For some ridiculous reason, Simmons has yet to find a new home after being released by the Broncos in March. Yeah, I know he’s 30 which is ancient for the position but he continues to play at a high level.

Simmons has been an All-Pro in four of the last five seasons and tied for the league lead in interceptions with six in 2022. He has intercepted at least two passes in each of his eight NFL seasons and has been the league’s best pick artist since 2016.

Denver releasing the All-Pro made sense as the team had to purge itself from the disastrous Russell Wilson contract somehow. Still, what else besides age is preventing Simmons from signing with a new team?

Bringing in Simmons on a one-year deal would be a wise investment, as ESPN’s Bill Barnwell argued in his May 14 article looking at 10 deals that should happen:

“What about the Rams? They are transitioning on defense after losing coordinator Raheem Morris to the Falcons and replacing him with Chris Shula, but there’s a chance they’ll still run some of the Vic Fangio-style coverages they used under Morris and Brandon Staley. And although Simmons is 30, he came of age and emerged as an elite safety under Fangio when the two were in Denver.

The Rams imported Kam Curl on a great deal from the Commanders and used a third-round pick on Kamren Kinchens, but the rookie is set to compete for starting work with Russ Yeast, who lost his job during the second half of 2023 to veteran John Johnson. Bringing in Simmons on a one-year deal would give L.A. an immediate starter at safety to play alongside Curl while allowing the franchise to bring Kinchens along slowly as a potential nickel safety.”

Again, the Rams’ investments in Curl and Kinchens are likely to prevent the veteran from signing with LA. However, the team has a chance to add to its secondary and take Simmons when other NFC contenders like the Eagles and Packers passed him over. For a team that could make serious noise in the conference in 2024, this would be a reasonably cheap and a low-risk, high-reward move for LA to make.

The longer Justin Simmons remains available, the more I want the Rams to give him a chance to secure his first-ever postseason trip.