Rams Tender Michael Hoecht In Free Agency
Michael Hoecht, Rams
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams announced they placed a right-of-first-refusal tender on free agent outside linebacker Michael Hoecht. The tender is for one year.

By placing the tender on Hoecht, the Rams will be able to match any offer sheet that Hoecht receives from another team or allow him to walk if they decide not to match. Hoecht is free to negotiate with other teams while tendered.

Restricted free agents like Hoecht will have until Apr. 19 to sign offer sheets, while the incumbent team will have until Apr. 24 to decide to match or not.

Originally a defensive linemen, Los Angeles decided to convert Hoecht into an outside linebacker during the 2022 season after a rash of injuries decimated the roster. It was understandably an adjustment period for the former undrafted free agent, but he took his new role in stride and became a solid contributor.

During the 2023 season, Hoecht started all 17 games for the Rams at outside linebacker and recorded career-highs in sacks (6) and total tackles (61). Although he struggled anytime he was asked to drop back in coverage, his availability and motor were positives for the defense.

Hoecht is now the second restricted free agent that Los Angeles has tendered as they also placed a second-round tender on left tackle Alaric Jackson. Jackson, like Hoecht, emerged as a starter during 2022 and earned the starting job in training camp.

While Hoecht isn’t expected to have a strong market, the Rams tendering him is an indication they value his experience and skillset. However, L.A. was a below-average team when it came to generating pressure off the edge last season and will need more talent at the position if they want to take the next step.

Hoecht is serviceable in a rotational role and on special teams, but is not good enough to be the full-time starter. The Rams have yet to address edge in free agency aside from tending Hoecht, which means they could be looking at the 2024 NFL Draft to add an impact player.

Although the draft is deep at the tackle and wide receiver positions, there are several intriguing pass rushing prospects the Rams could target with their first round pick.

Rams reuniting with cornerback Darious Williams

Aside from edge rusher, Los Angeles’ secondary could also use some work. Ahkello Witherspoon is testing free agency, leaving behind an inexperienced group on the outside.

However, the Rams managed to come to terms on a deal and reunite with Darious Williams on a three-year deal.