The Los Angeles Rams’ roster in 2023 is going to look a lot different than it did in 2022 after the departures of a number of key members of the Super Bowl team.
The Rams are trying to get their salary cap in order, which means guys like Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner, Leonard Floyd, Nick Scott, Greg Gaines, A’Shawn Robinson, Taylor Rapp and David Long Jr. will all be playing elsewhere next season. The same will likely be said for Allen Robinson, who has permission to seek a trade but has not yet found a new home.
L.A.’s special teams unit will also be undergoing an overhaul with all of their specialists leaving. That includes kicker Matt Gay, who signed a record-break contract with the Indianapolis Colts and punter Riley Dixon, who signed with the Denver Broncos.
The guy returning kicks and punts is now also gone as according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, wide receiver Brandon Powell is signing a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings:
Former Rams’ free-agent WR Brandon Powell reached agreement today a one-year deal with the Vikings, per source. Powell will be reuniting with former Rams’ OC and Vikings’ HC Kevin O’Connell.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2023
Powell was one of the Rams’ unsung heroes of the last couple of seasons after being picked up in the middle of 2021. He got some looks on offense last season with 24 catches for 156 yards and 17 carries for 80 yards in addition to being one of the best return men in the league.
In 23 career games with the Rams, Powell has returned one punt for a touchdown, which came against the Vikings, while averaging 10.3 yards per punt return and 21.4 yards per kick return.
The Rams really struggled on returns before Powell arrived and he helped stabilize that unit, which was a big part of the team’s Super Bowl run.
With his skillset now expanding to offense, it is good to see him cash in on a one-year deal with old friend Kevin O’Connell on the Vikings even if the Rams weren’t able to keep him. O’Connell knows what Powell is capable of and will likely scheme some plays for him into their offense.
Without Powell, Gay and Dixon though, the Rams are going to need to replace all of their specialists this offseason and don’t have a ton of resources to do so. That means new special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn will certainly have his work cut out for him getting his new and likely inexperienced unit up to speed.