Rams News: Ernest Jones Unconcerned About Playing 2024 Season On Final Year Of Rookie Deal
Ernest Jones, Rams
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With Aaron Donald retiring from the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams find themselves with the massive challenge of trying to fill the void he left behind on defense.

For a decade, Donald was the centerpiece of the Rams’ defensive front but now new defensive coordinator Chris Shula will have to find a way to wreak havoc without the future Hall of Famer.

While he might not be the same caliber of player that Donald was, Ernest Jones has shown real leadership skills and is expected to assume a much larger role in the 2024 season. Jones had a spectacular 2023 season where he broke the franchise record for tackles while adding a career-high 4.5 sacks and six passes defensed.

Los Angeles chose not to extend Jones in the offseason, but the linebacker isn’t concerned and is focused on proving himself via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“For me personally, I’m a big believer in Jesus Christ,” Jones said earlier this week after Day 1 of the Rams’ offseason workout program. “So I know at the end of the day, I’m taken care of. So long as I continue to walk around here and play football at a high level, at the end of this season, I’ll have the opportunity to take care of my family in the ways that I want to. But from hearing from their aspect that they want to see me another year, that’s exciting for me.”

Shula and Jones have worked closely together over the years and the latter is looking forward to what lies ahead for him and his future:

“So I get to do it again,” Jones said. “And then at the end of the year, knowing that I got the opportunity to take care of my family in the way that I’ve always dreamed of, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to lead this team, but also looking forward to it from a personal standpoint that, play some good ball, you set yourself up real nice.”

The Rams don’t normally invest in the linebacker position, but if Jones has another career year as the defense’s leader then he’ll surely make the organization have to reconsider their free agency philosophy.

Rams re-sign Troy Reeder in free agency

When it comes to positions like linebacker, the Rams prefer to address it in the draft or much later in free agency. However, the team did decide to re-sign Troy Reeder, who was a core member of the defense last season.