Wait… so how can the Rams, a team that just went to the Super Bowl, find itself in a position where it’s not the best team in the NFC West entering 2019?
Well, there are a lot of reasons, actually.
First, a very possible Super Bowl hangover is pending. Blue Wire’s Kevin Jones pointed out the context after Los Angeles’ 13-3 Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots:
Beyond all that, the Rams are facing some tough, tough decisions on the free-agent market. While quarterback Jared Goff is still playing on his rookie contract, L.A. will be forced to decide whether or not bringing back defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety Lamarcus Joyner, left guard Rodger Saffold and EDGE Dante Fowler will be worthwhile in free agency.
With just shy of $30 million in cap space, and a likely contract extension for Goff pending, the Rams are surely going to see at least a couple of those names walk this offseason.
Additionally, as Jones pointed out, the late-season and playoff use of running back Todd Gurley might create a scenario in L.A. not welcoming of a bounce-back year. This isn’t to say the Rams are going to be bad in 2019.
Rather, it’s a sheer reality they’re not trending in the right direction. Simply put, the Rams went “all in” on 2018 and came up short. 2019 won’t be any easier.