The Duel

3 Reasons the Rams are Screwed for the Next Three Years

By David Hayes
Sean McVay thinks during a game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Sean McVay thinks during a game against the Dallas Cowboys. / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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The Los Angeles Rams were officially eliminated from the NFL Playoffs on Saturday night with a tough 34-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. With the book now closed on the 2019-20 NFL season, it certainly hasn't been the kind of performance that many were expecting from a team that had so many weapons returning after making a Super Bowl appearance last year.

And unfortunately for Rams fans, the way things look around the team suggest that this disappointment could become a trend. Here's a look at three reasons why the immediate future in LA could take a very dark turn over the next few years.

3. Todd Gurley's Arthritic Knee

Todd Gurley gets tackled in a game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Todd Gurley gets tackled in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. / Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Todd Gurley was the heart and soul of this Rams' offense last year, commanding legitimate NFL MVP attention as they took a 13-3 record into the 2018-19 NFL Playoffs. Fresh off a record-setting $60 million contract extension over four years, which made him the highest paid RB in the league at the time, Gurley lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns (17) and 21 total TDs from scrimmage. However, the situation changed quickly after news of Gurley's arthritic knee broke in the offseason. That helped explain his much more limited role in critical playoff moments, including Super Bowl LIII. Fast-forward to the impact this has had on Gurley in 2019, and we've seen his carry volume drop by more than 50 attempts through Week 16, only reaching roughly 32.0 percent of his receiving yardage total from last year as well. Gurley still has one more game to play in 2019, but he's currently sitting at 975 yards from scrimmage, compared to the 1,831 mark he put up at this point last year.

2. No Future First-Round NFL Draft Picks Until 2022

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead in a game against the New Orleans Saints.
Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead in a game against the New Orleans Saints. / Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Nothing spells out a tough future in the NFL quite like trading away every first-round draft pick to your name for three straight seasons. The Rams certainly picked up a great talent in Jalen Ramsey in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this season, but at a price of two first-round draft-picks, he hasn't filled the biggest needs on the team. LA has also traded away two 2020 fifth-round picks, a 2021 fourth-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick. With the kind of money they've already given out to players like Gurley, Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, and now the money they'll likely have to put down in order to retain a talent like Ramsey, those first-round rookie contracts could be sorely missed.

1. Jared Goff's Contract & Regression

Jared Goff fumbles the ball in a game against the Chicago Bears.
Jared Goff fumbles the ball in a game against the Chicago Bears. / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Speaking of big contracts, fourth-year QB Jared Goff has had quite an up-and-down career during his relatively short tenure in the NFL. He went from a potential bust as a rookie to Super Bowl LIII runner-up in his third year, and in 2019 the Rams gave him a record-setting deal that included $110 million in guaranteed money, locking him in as their starting QB through 2024. For someone getting paid that kind of money, it's slightly unsettling to see Goff weighing in at No. 25 in the NFL in QBR (45.6), No. 19 in completion percentage (62.8 percent) and tied for No. 16 in passing TDs (19), all with the fourth-most INTs (16) through Week 16 of the 2019 season. While Goff certainly has plenty of time to turn things around under his current contract, it's a rocky start, to say the least.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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