The NFL’s legal tampering period kicked off Monday and the league saw plenty of noteworthy moves within the first few hours.
Contending teams like the San Francisco 49ers got better, while the quarterback carousal got started with Jimmy Garoppolo agreeing to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams have remained quiet as they continue to sort out their roster situation.
The Rams have been in cap-clearing mode as they’ve gotten rid of key players like Bobby Wagner, Leonard Floyd and Jalen Ramsey. The defense is going to look vastly different outside of Aaron Donald in the 2023 season, but that was probably to be expected given the team’s bloated salary cap.
Besides the major moves, it looks like Los Angeles isn’t done parting ways with players as they are reportedly not going to bring back Marquise Copeland, via Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer:
The #Rams are not expected to tender RFA DT Marquise Copeland, per league source. That would make him an unrestricted free agent.
Copeland has the LA connection with #Panthers coaches, Ejiro Evero and Jonathan Cooley, as well as the Broncos' current staff.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) March 13, 2023
Copeland developed into a solid rotational defensive lineman during his time with Los Angeles. Copeland went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft and signed with the Rams, but didn’t log a snap in his rookie season. However, he worked his way up the depth chart and was active for 25 games and finally made a mark in 2022 where he registered 31 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.
By not tendering the interior defensive lineman, the Rams are signaling they will look either in free agency or the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft to shore up their depth. With 11 draft picks at their disposal, Los Angeles has a great opportunity to reset their roster and fill it with rookie-scale contracts that will allow them to be bigger players next year.
Outside of Copeland, L.A. has important decisions to make on a couple of other defensive linemen in A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines. Both Robinson and Gaines have become key pieces up front next to Donald and because of the Rams’ cap situation, they will have to choose one of the two of them. There’s obviously the possibility that the team decides to not re-sign either of them, but that might be unwise unless they are not serious about being competitive.
With free agency just around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see how the Rams navigate the waters.