There are those fans and analysts who will believe the Los Angeles Rams need to pivot to the draft or make a run at past talent after the failed Allen Robinson experiment.
However, there’s CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin on Thursday, March 9 who wrote how the Rams are a “matchmaker” for one past record-breaking wide receiver who could be on his way out, plus believes they should take a chance on the All-Pro.
Who does CBS and Dubin believe is a match to make up for Robinson? New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas, as the NFL record holder for most receptions in a season with 149 in 2019 has been his own subject of trade rumblings.
“Last year, the Rams tried to add Allen Robinson to Cooper Kupp and level-up their offense. It didn’t work, and they’re now looking to trade Robinson (and maybe a few other players to save some salary). I’d like to see them run it back with another recently injured but also very talented wideout in Thomas,” Dubin wrote.
Is the Price Too High for Thomas? Or Could the Rams Make it Work?
In looking at this Rams remodel as general manager Les Snead coined it, the Rams are freeing up cap room by allowing Bobby Wagner to walk away from his five-year, $50 million deal while also revealing they’re severing ties from Leonard Floyd and his remaining four-year, $64 million deal — which could mean a cut if there isn’t a trade partner.
The Saints, however, find themselves in their own roster remodel. Already, Derek Carr is on board having signed a four-year, $150 million deal. Carr has rising young star Chris Olave to work with after delivering 1,042 yards in 15 games during his rookie season. But if the three-time Pro Bowler Thomas is moved, the Saints would have to immediately see who they can grab via trade or free agency.
And in looking at Carr’s career, he’s always had success with a 6-foot-2 or taller wideout — a la Amari Cooper and Davante Adams last season. Robinson would fit him here. However, would it be costly to do an exchange between Robinson and Thomas?
“He should cost less than Robinson did a year ago, which should help the Rams be able to afford him,” Dubin said. “If he signs a one-year deal to play for Sean McVay and across from Kupp and finds a way to contribute at something resembling the way he used to, Thomas can cash in next offseason.”
Would Thomas Accept Role?
The next burning question is can the past record-breaker be willing to accept being a non No. 1 wideout?
He is up in his years as he’s turned 30. He’s additionally been set back with three straight injury-marred seasons following that epic ’19 campaign as he dealt with ankle, toe and hamstring injuries.
But he isn’t that far removed from being a 100-catch wide receiver. He had his run from 2017 to 2019 when he caught 104, 125 and 149 receptions in that order. When healthy, he’s as reliable as they come and is capable of being the first option in an early offensive series.
However, his recent string of injuries could impact his value — plus perhaps get teams from shying away. The Rams have already had to endure not finishing out the year with “A-Rob.” They may become hesitant in adding another wideout who had a hard time staying healthy last season. All the more reason why there’s the hope the Rams can welcome back Robert Woods.
Yet, if the Rams decide to re-add some star power in the WR room, it’ll be a homecoming for Thomas after growing up in L.A. and starring at Taft High in nearby Woodland Hills.