The Los Angeles Rams have quickly adjusted to the limelight of southern California. With a revamping roster, head coach Jeff Fisher has had to quickly decide which players will shine in the new era of Rams football.
With that being said, there were obvious holes on the defensive end that needed to be fixed. Upon the departure of defensive end Chris Long, Fisher realized that the vacant position could be a glaring hole.
Both defensive players William Hayes and Eugene Sims were hefty targets heading into free agency, as the team understood the importance of bringing them back.
The Rams defense, which collected the third most tackles (1,132) in the NFC last season, held a formidable defensive line, led by pro-bowler Aaron Donald.
However, a defense with the third most sacks in 2015 (141) also needs assets around Donald to be successful.
The Rams fully addressed the situation heading into training camp, bringing back a key piece for the 2016 season and beyond, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
The #Rams have struck a deal to keep William Hayes
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2016
Hayes collected a career-high 36 tackles in 16 games played last season, along with 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Along with Sims, Hayes saw increased playing time last season because of the injury bug. With Robert Quinn and Long sidelined for periods of time during the 2015 season, Hayes stepped up in their absence and produced.
The details of Hayes new contract with the Rams has been released, courtesy of Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com:
William Hayes does in fact stay with the Rams, agreeing to a 3yr deal worth a max of $21M
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2016
The Rams can now address their next area of concern, deciding whether or not to lock up Sims. If the Rams elect to pass up on Sims, they can still address the hard-hitting defense through the 2016 NFL Draft.