Ex-Rams Rusher Called ‘Sneaky Good Free Agent’ for Teams in 2023

Samson Ebukam

Getty Samson Ebukam on August 22, 2022 in Inglewood.

Outside of Leonard Floyd, only one member of the Los Angeles Rams edge rusher department has a sack this season. The production has dipped that far.

There’s seven games left into the season, but this becomes the time of year when NFL fans and analysts start thinking about who could be some early free agents worth watching — and who can greatly impact an area that is already looking like a need.

And there will be some “sneaky good” free agents for 2023 as written by Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox on Saturday, November 26. And one of them happens to not only be a division rival, but has past ties to the “Rams House.”

‘He’s Quietly Been Very Good’

Samson Ebukam of the San Francisco 49ers earned the label of “sneaky good” free agent for the 2023 cycle.

Ebukam, 27, should ring bells among Ram fans — he played his first four seasons with the Rams.

Since then, the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder has battled injuries but has done enough to provide his rushing element to a deep 49ers trench unit.

“San Francisco 49ers pass-rusher Samson Ebukam has missed the last two games while dealing with quadriceps and Achilles ailments. Teams will want to track him to see if he gets healthy and resumes the strong play he showed early in the season. Ebukam has never been a top-tier edge-rusher, but he’s quietly been very good,” Knox wrote. “He logged 4.5 sacks in each of his previous three seasons, two with the Los Angeles Rams and one with the 49ers in 2021.”

Again, Ebukam is playing on a loaded defensive line that not only features Nick Bosa, but has seen names like Kerry Hyder, Kevin Givens, Charles Omenihu, Drake Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway wreck havoc in the 49ers’ rotation. But when he’s planting his hand into the ground from his three-point stance, Ebukam has provided his own set of damage.

“Through the first eight weeks of this season, the 27-year-old notched 3.5 sacks to go with 29 tackles and eight quarterback pressures. He did so while largely playing on a rotational basis (63 percent of the defensive snaps),” Knox wrote.

Edge Rusher Help Officially 2023 Need for Rams

Post Von Miller, and outside of Floyd, the Rams never got consistency from the edge rush department through 10 games this season.

The veteran Floyd is the leader of the group with five sacks — and his 25 in a Rams uniform is the most with one team per Pro Football Reference. But the 30-year-old will need some help moving forward.

Terrell Lewis is the only other active outside linebacker with a sack this season. His base salary is set for $1,159,511 for 2023 per Spotrac and won’t be an unrestricted free agent until 2024. The Rams have also gone through Takkarist McKinley and Justin Hollins before waiving both — the latter the most recent departure during the week of the upcoming Kansas City Chiefs game set for Sunday, November 27.

Ebukam is obviously not the most intriguing of names for this market, with Knox writing “The 2023 class isn’t exactly loaded with top-end pass-rushing talent; Jadeveon Clowney, Yannick Ngakoue and Marcus Davenport are among the top names.” But, “If Ebukam returns to the field and to form, he could be a very valuable addition for teams not looking to overpay for a more well-known name.”

The Rams have already invited back Malcolm Brown after a brief departure this season to help a position of need at running back. Ebukam, who produced back-to-back 4.5 sack seasons before leaving L.A., could be a valuable reunion candidate and be worth keeping an early eye on before 2023 free agency begins.

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