Rams Suggested to Add $1.2 Million Division Rival to Bolster High Need

Baker Mayfield

Getty Baker Mayfield looks to throw while Tyler Higbee (89) and Ty Nsekhe (68) block in the background on December 19, 2022 in Green Bay.

The Los Angeles Rams are officially in 2023 mode following their 24-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday, December 19 that knocked them out the playoff hunt.

This means general manager Les Snead, head coach Sean McVay and the now 4-10 Rams can pivot toward thinking about who to add for next season. However, one analyst got the early jump on suggestions for the Rams on Tuesday, December 13 and fired away this idea: Lure in someone within the NFC West to bolster a significant need.

Free Agent Offensive Lineman Can Add Needed Health and Depth in the ‘Rams House’

Bo Wulf of The Athletic believes Will Hernandez of the Arizona Cardinals, who will soon have his one-year, $1,187,500 deal expire by season’s end, can come in and bolster a needed area inside the ‘Rams House.”

“Not quite the splash Hollywood is used to, but boy could the Rams use some healthy offensive linemen — and Hernandez is usually that,” Wulf wrote.

As Ram fans know, the team has had to deliver more offensive line rotations due to injuries than an NBA team switching through its starting lineup and bench players on a nightly basis. Only Rob Havenstein has started in every game on the offensive line…while this team has had a different OL rotation at least 15 times in 2022. The unit has now given up 51 sacks this season — with Matthew Stafford getting tussled to the ground 29 times and even newcomer Baker Mayfield getting sacked nine times in his two games as a Ram.

The guard spot, where the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Hernandez has spent his entire NFL career at, was the hardest hit area on the Rams. Rookie Logan Bruss went down before the season with a torn ACL. David Edwards had to be placed in concussion protocol. Coleman Shelton has also battled his ailments while needing to be plugged in as an emergency center when Brian Allen was battling a bad knee.

Yes, Hernandez isn’t considered a marquee name on the upcoming 2023 free agency market. But he has these claims: Being one of the least injured offensive linemen in the NFL and being strong in pass protection…both of which can certainly help this unit.

“The 2018 second-round pick had only missed three games in four seasons entering this year before suffering a chest injury that landed him on short-term injured reserve,” Wulf wrote. “He entered Week 14 ranked eighth in ESPN’s pass-block win rate among all guards.”

Past Clips Highlight Trench Nastiness

Along with being a competitor who rarely gets injured, Hernandez is capable of reinstalling a needed temper along the Rams’ trenches if he were to come on board next season.

One proof is from the September road win over the Las Vegas Raiders where he delivered this crucial pancake block on the two-point try that forced overtime:

Even before arriving to the desert, he gave the New York Giants an edge along the line of scrimmage:

Per Pro Football Focus, Hernandez has surrendered three sacks on 436 pass blocking attempts. However, he hasn’t given up a sack in his last four games.

State of the Offensive Line Room for the Rams

Once again, the MNF loss at Lambeau has gotten the Rams to look toward 2023.

And that will include addressing the free agency department. Per Spotrac, Edwards is the lone unrestricted free agent for 2023 among the natural guard group. However, the team will have to decide what to do with Oday Aboushi after signing him during the season plus address the futures of other free agents Bobby Evans, Matt Skura and another late addition from this season Ty Nsekhe.

Regardless, a unit that has surrendered four or more sacks in eight games this season — including five in the loss to the Packers — is facing imminent changes. And that could mean luring in someone who has played against the Rams in 2022 as one analyst suggests.

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