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How big of a risk are the Rams taking on with Tre’Davious White?

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By: JakeEllenbogen

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Rams signed their new starting corner Tre’Davious White but what risk does that come with?

The Rams signed former All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White for $8.5 million. Was this a good move? We will find out in time but here’s what we know. White has been an elite corner in his past, isn’t 30 years old yet but has suffered two of the most catastrophic injuries you can have as an athlete. White tore his ACL in 2021 and last year tore his achilles tendon. It’s safe to say that the risk is fairly evident in this signing.

Risk #1: Availability

The Rams are giving $8.5 million to a player that is coming off an achilles tear. First and foremost, he’s coming off a major injury as we speak. While the Rams team doctor Neal ElAttrache may have done the surgery himself and worked with White in his rehab, it doesn’t dismiss the fact there is definitely some immediate risk out of the gate.

The team will likely be cautious with White this off-season and training camp, however, this is not a dangerous sport in general. The idea of losing a player you paid $8.5 million to have play and start for your team is a scary one and the fact of the matter is it’s a real concern when you think back on all the players who have suffered achilles tears.

Risk #2: Production

Even if White stays healthy coming off his achilles tendon injury, who’s to say he goes back to the same player? At the price tag the Rams paid White for it’s clear they are paying him as if they know something and they feel confident not only will White stay healthy and return to action but he will be an upgrade over last year’s starter Ahkello Witherspoon. I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

White was an elite player back in 2019 and played at a high level in 2021. However, when he tore his ACL in 2021 he came back and wasn’t as effective. The second risk here isn’t about White staying healthy, it’s about paying all that money to a guy that is a shell of himself. I truly hope this isn’t the case but it’s fair to at least point to the concern here.

Risk #3: Signing the wrong guy

If White doesn’t pan out now you’ve spent $8.5 million on a corner who cannot start at the level the previous starter was doing for you. The aforementioned Ahkello Witherspoon was looking for around the same price tag as White. Witherspoon started all 18 games the Rams played in last year including the Wild Card game. The Rams knew they had a legit starter in Witherspoon and saw that he could work in their defensive scheme. Now, you are taking a risk and a serious gamble that a cornerback coming off a major injury will revert back to his original form back in 2020.

If White doesn’t stay healthy or pan out you have already spent the money on him to be the starter. You could pivot to a potential drafted cornerback (if they still go that route now) or a corner on the roster in Tre Tomlinson, Cobie Durant or Derion Kendrick. However, there’s a lot of risk replacing someone who is ready to play right now, just played in that same defense last year and has familiarity with someone who is again coming off a major injury, hasn’t been the same in three-to-four years and is just as expensive.


At the end of the day, the Rams added a big name they are clearly hoping to gamble and win big on. If White reverts back to his old All-Pro self the Rams will look like geniuses, it might net the Rams an extra win or two on the season and gives them a chance to alleviate the pressure of no Aaron Donald.

However, the big roll of the dice could also not pan out just like any signing. The biggest concern though is the fact free agency always has risk involved. Any time you pay a player you are taking a risk in some capacity whether it’s a potential drop off in production, culture fit or injury you do take on a risk. With White, the risk is as tangible as can be.

It’s fair to be excited about the potential of a resurgent Tre’Davious White playing alongside a talented group of guys like Kobie Turner, Bobby Brown III, Byron Young Ernest Jones, Kamren Curl, Quentin Lake and Darious Williams. It’s also fair to stay on the side of caution with the most likely result that White isn’t what he once was and at best is a solid to average starting corner. Either way, the Rams took on a big risk in 2024. White will be off the books in 2025 but if your plan is to win a Super Bowl in 2024, White’s health and production are a big key for the Rams to do just that. Although, it’s easier said than done.