Dante Fowler Jr. ‘Would Love’ To Stay With Rams In Free Agency But Focused On Finishing Out Season First
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams will have an interesting offseason in 2020. After officially being eliminated from playoff contention with their Week 16 loss, it is only natural to look forward to the upcoming free agency period.

The Rams have done well for themselves in the last few years of free agency, but 2020 could be a different story. After signing Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and others to big contract extensions in the last two offseasons, the Rams have little left over to retain some of the players that have led to the team’s success.

One player that fits that category is Dante Fowler Jr. After being traded to the Rams in 2018, Fowler decided to re-sign on just a one-year deal last offseason.

Hoping to prove he is worth and re-establish his value, Fowler has had a very strong season in 2019. In 15 games, the outside linebackers 38 solo tackles and 11.5 sacks, second-highest on the team behind Donald. With stats like that in mind, Fowler still wants to finish out 2019 with a strong game before looking ahead to free agency, via Gary Klein of the L.A. Times:

“Still got one game left, so I want to finish really strong,” said Fowler, acquired by the Rams in a trade-deadline deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018. “That would be a cool thing, just to finish strong and to keep having a good resume on film.”

With Fowler’s talents well known, there has to be some concern that he could sign a long-term contract elsewhere once he hits the open market. The Rams could make an effort to bring back Fowler, but with most of their money tied up amongst their big three, it would be hard to make it work under the salary cap.

Additionally, with fellow defensive players Michael Brockers and Cory Littleton also due to hit free agency, it seems that the Rams will have some tough decisions to make. Brockers is reaching the end of a three-year contract while Littleton is finishing his rookie contract and should be in for a big payday. That doesn’t even include Jalen Ramsey, who the Rams gave up two first-round picks for and will likely extend at some point.

While Fowler stated he would be happy to stay in L.A. and would love to return, he understands that this sport is a business:

“I would love to stay here and see if something worked out,” Fowler said. “I know they have their hands full, so we’ll just see how it works out.

“It would be nice to stay with the best player in the league, A.D., and have Jalen and me and Cory — that would be really cool. But there’s so many good players on this team, and I know how the business goes.”

The 2020 offseason will be an interesting year for the Rams, and while change is certainly necessary, it is always hard to see some key players leave. Fowler may end up being one of those players as seemingly every team could use a pass rusher.