The Los Angeles Rams roster will look significantly different next season in the wake of multiple key contributors signing elsewhere in free agency. The group includes Brandon Powell, who joined the Minnesota Vikings on a one-year contract.
The move reunites Powell with former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who is now the Vikings head coach. Powell originally signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and had been part of the Rams organization since 2021.
Powell served as the Rams’ primary kickoff and punt returner last season, taking back 30 kicks and 24 punts for a combined 782 yards. He also had one punt return touchdown during the 2021 season, his first year with the Rams.
After signing with the Vikings, Powell took to Twitter to thank the Rams organization for helping him accomplish three of his NFL dreams:
All love for LA💚 Helped the youngin accomplish 3 of his NFL dreams. Be a starter, score a punt return touchdown and win a Super Bowl. Will forever appreciate LA🚀 https://t.co/d4FENRiNb3
— Brandon Powell (@_powellbp4) March 23, 2023
In addition to being the Rams’ return specialist last season, Powell took on a bigger role with the offense as he caught a career-high 24 passes on 32 targets for 156 yards. He also had 17 carries and picked up an additional 80 yards on the ground.
With Powell’s skillset expanding, it will be interesting to see how the Vikings utilize him this year. O’Connell knows what Powell is capable of and will likely scheme some plays for him into their offense.
Rams turnover on special teams
The Rams’ special teams unit will have a bunch of new faces all around next season as kicker Matt Gay and punter Riley Dixon signed with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, respectively.
That means new special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn will have his work cut out for him getting his new and likely inexperienced unit up to speed.