Fans of the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t help but roast the rival Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, March 12 after the latter traded away their All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey — with many ridiculing the move to send the perennial Pro Bowler to the Miami Dolphins.
But the 49ers could be adding further insult to the Rams according to one insider’s prediction.
With this being free agency week and the signing period officially beginning on Wednesday, March 15, insider and columnist for NBC Sports Bay Area Matt Maiocco said on Monday, March 13 that two Rams “are likely to be of interest to the 49ers:” Placekicker Matt Gay and nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson.
Pro Bowler Would’ve Filled Needed Area
With Robbie Gould on his way out, Gay was considered high importance.
Gay is entering his fifth NFL season and is in a position where he’ll suit up for his third NFL franchise with him being an unrestricted free agent. The kicker’s value was set for $2,450,000. Spotrac is predicting his next contract to give him a higher financial elevation: $5.1 million annually and a deal that’s good for four years and $20.505 million.
Gould, meanwhile, said via ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on March 4 that he plans to test the free agency market after six seasons with the 49ers. David Lombardi added more context to the Gould decision, as the 49ers insider brought up Gould’s likely 2023 value and what S.F. saw during the week of March 1 in Indianapolis as reasons to allow Gould to test the market.
“There were concerns that Robbie Gould’s price would be too high and it appears those were founded. This also means 49ers probably liked what they saw from rookie kickers at combine,” Lombardi shared.
Should the 49ers add Gay, they’ll be adding one of the more accurate kickers around who has delivered back-to-back seasons of hitting more than 93% of his field goal attempts. He’s also in the 96% or higher range the last two seasons off his extra point attempts per Pro Football Reference. In long distance attempts, Gay established himself as one of the best from 50 yards out — hitting four of five attempts from that range in ’21 then seven of nine last season. Gay is also much younger as he’ll turn 29 on Wednesday.
Of course, Gay is revered inside the “Rams House” for his last second field goal that eliminated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their march to Super Bowl 56.
Update: Gay is expected to sign a $22.5 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
Is There Room for Robinson?
San Francisco’s run defense struggled in the NFC title game in Philadelphia — surrendering 148 yards to the Eagles and allowing an astonishing four rushing touchdowns. Hence why Robinson, 27, was mentioned as a possibility by Maiocco.
The Super Bowl 56 winner emerged as an impactful gap controller for a Rams defense that saw him team with Von Miller, Bobby Wagner and line up next to Aaron Donald the last two seasons. Robinson collected 109 total tackles and 55 solo stops during the regular season his last two campaigns inside the “Rams House.” He also produced two sacks and four tackles for a loss. Plays like this could come in handy if the 49ers need a goal line of short yardage option to stop the run:
And with Donald next to him, Robinson took advantage:
While he would be a larger option compared to the other defensive tackles in the room, the 6-foot-4, 330-pounder could create more open lanes for Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Drake Jackson plus Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga on blitzes if brought over.
However, the 49ers have NFC Champion from the Philadelphia Eagles Javon Hargrave lined up to have his blockbuster four-year, $84 million processed on Wednesday. The team is also resigning Kevin Givens, with The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reporting he’s getting two million guaranteed. Robinson, once on a $17 million contract with the Rams, is projected to be around the ball park of $8 million annually per Spotrac. Th 49ers would likely have to sign him for much less if they want to add him to the DL room.
But, S.F is already aggressive in the start of free agency week. Maiocco sent the early warning S.F. could add to their signing aggression by adding some Rams. They’ve already done it before with Samson Ebukam.