There are countless of futures pending for the Los Angeles Rams from head coach Sean McVay to defensive lineman Aaron Donald. But as the Rams await what they decide, the franchise announced nine signings to a reserve/futures contract Monday, January 9.
Of the nine who signed, it’s a past national leading wide receiver who sparked the most reactions online including from his former college football offensive coordinator: Jerreth Sterns.
The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder was first signed to the practice squad on December 22, 2022. Before the Rams, he delivered his triple crown-leading season at Western Kentucky by leading the nation in receptions (150), yards (1,902) and touchdowns (17). That production got him to join Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama (2020) and former NFL Pro Bowl wideout Michael Crabtree (2007) as NCAA Division I receivers who led the nation in all three major categories.
He gets to remain in the “Rams House” a little longer. And among his reactions? Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Texas Tech Zach Kittley, who was his offensive coordinator at WKU for Sterns’ breakout season.
“An absolute stud,” Kittley posted on Twitter. “Keep doing your thing!”
Kittley wasn’t the lone reaction for Sterns. Jake Kucheck of FTN Fantasy Network reacted to the Rams signing Sterns.
Burleson High School in Texas defensive backs coach Lamont Moore sent his congrats.
Speculation Builds for Rams Quarterback Though
While Sterns was among the nine using the stroke of the pen to remain a Ram, there was one name that Ram fans noticeably saw was absent — a name from the quarterback room.
Case Cookus wasn’t mentioned on the nine signings. The local standout who starred at nearby Thousand Oaks High School and later played briefly at Ventura College had fans speculating if he’s bound to return to the United States Football League (USFL).
“Could we see the return of Case Cookus to the USFL?” asked one fan to the Rams account.
Meanwhile, an admin behind the Philadelphia Stars fan account named “Stars Blobber” began believing that Cookus could also draw interest for the return of the XFL along with USFL and NFL.
“Wow. Case Cookus is not returning to the Rams next season and becomes a free agent in two weeks. NFL, USFL, and XFL will be interested,” the account posted.
Cookus, 27, led the Stars to the USFL title game before leaving with a broken leg. He was a November 23, 2022 practice squad signing for the Rams.
The Rams are already dealing with quarterback uncertainty with backups John Wolford and Bryce Perkins as free agents for 2023 and Baker Mayfield an unrestricted free agent. However, Matthew Stafford informed the L.A. media Monday that he’s planning to return to the Rams for 2023.
Other Signings the Rams Made
On the surface, the signings the Rams made appear to be more on the depth move side and each player’s status could change with the Rams now turning to free agency in March and the NFL Draft the following month.
But two of the more notable signatures came from the T.J. Carter duo — as both the defensive back and defensive lineman managed to see action on defense in two games with a combined 11 total snaps per Pro Football Focus. On offense, undrafted free agent tight end Roger Carter was among the signings. He managed to see one offensive snap this season.
The complete list of signings are: Sterns, Roger Carter, safety T.J. Carter, edge rusher T.J. Carter, defensive back Richard LeCounte, tackle Max Pircher, wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson, DE Brayden Thomas and fellow DE Zach VanValkenburg.