The Rams first season back in Los Angeles just got a little more exciting.
The team announced Thursday morning that it has acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, moving itself into position to land what it hopes will be a franchise quarterback. The question now: Will it be North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, or Cal’s Jared Goff?
The Rams’ pressing need behind center was obvious, what with them ranking dead-last in the league in total offense. As much as the franchise tried to insist that Case Keenum was its starter for the time being, it was clear that the NCAA’s all-time passing leader wasn’t a viable long-term answer.
And so the Rams jumped up 14 spots, giving up six draft picks to Tennessee in exchange for the chance to take who they think will be the best player on the board. The Titans will receive the No. 15, 43, 45, and 76 picks in this year’s draft, along with first- and third-round selections in 2017.
The Rams also got a fourth- and sixth-round 2016 picks in the blockbuster trade.
Rams running back Tre Mason is facing arrest after missing a court date on Monday, according to Florida court records.
Broward County has issued a warrant for the 22-year-old’s arrest, the latest turn in his case following his March 5 arrest on multiple misdemeanor charges. Mason had been taken in on charges including reckless driving, possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest. A police report indicated that the former Auburn star was subdued with a Taser.
Mason will be held on a $1,500 bond once he is taken into custody.
Fans during cheer as the St. Louis Rams practice with the Dallas Cowboys at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard, CA, Monday, August 17, 2015. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff)
Cord-cutting Rams fans might have a harder time trying to watch the team’s October game against the New York Giants in London.
An NFL spokesperson told Reuters on Monday that the league will not live-stream its three London games this upcoming season, a reversal from its broadcasting strategy a year ago. The news comes less than a week after the NFL announced a 10-game streaming deal with Twitter, one that Re/code reported to be worth less than $10 million.
However, this latest deal deal will be restricted only to Thursday night games, according to Reuters. Yahoo! paid $17 million to live-stream the Jaguars’ 34-31 win over the Bills at at Wembley Stadium last October, but the NFL told Reuters that it does not have plans for a separate deal to stream this year’s contests across the Atlantic.
“When we discussed potential streaming packages with interested parties, there were many options on the table, including the London games,” a league spokesperson told Reuters in an email. “Ultimately the package we agreed on with Twitter involved ten of our Thursday night games which we felt was the best option at that point.”
That leaves out Los Angeles’ Oct. 23 tilt against the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium, as well as games at Wembley Stadium between the Jaguars and the Colts (Week 4), as well as Cincinnati and Washington (Week 8).
More than 15 million unique viewers tuned into last season’s London live stream, according to Yahoo! and the NFL, but a streaming industry consultant told Variety that those figures were skewed by auto-streaming.
The L.A. Rams practice facility locker room at the Residence Inn in Oxnard, Monday, April 4, 2016. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker)
A week away from the start of the Rams’ first offseason program in Los Angeles, players have begun arriving at the team’s temporary practice facility in Oxnard.
Offensive lineman Rodger Saffold — who missed most of last season due to a right shoulder injury — was one of the first to start working out in Ventura County, doing so as early as last Monday. Entering his seventh season in the league, the former second-round pick wrote on Twitter yesterday that he is 100 percent healthy and prepared to “return the Rams investment for years to come.”
The 6-foot-5 lineman’s career has been plagued by injuries, and the Oakland Raiders backed out of a five-year deal with him following failed physical in 2014. Saffold subsequently re-signed with the Rams on a five-year deal.
Safety Cody Davis and offensive guard Jamon Brown are among the others who have since relocated to Southern California.
The Rams need to supplement their defensive backfield this offseason, and one former Pro Bowler might provide the answer.
Strong safety Donte Whitner tweeted a picture early Sunday morning of his boarding pass for a flight from Miami to Los Angeles, and multiple reports indicated that the trip was to visit the city’s newly returned NFL franchise. He is still meeting today with the Rams, who have more than $12 million in cap space.
Drafted eighth overall by the Buffalo Bills in 2006, Whitner earned three straight Pro Bowl nods from 2012-14, while playing with the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. He was released by the latter team earlier this month, and will turn 31 in July.
The timing of the release, which came nearly a month into the free agency period, raised some eyebrows around the league. Former Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby said the move “wasn’t cool at all.” New Cleveland coach Hue Jackson defended the decision, but acknowledged that the timing was “unfortunate.”
Whitner was the Browns’ second-leading tackler last season, notching 81 total tackles along with four passes defended. The Rams lost starting safety Rodney McLeod to the Philadelphia Eagles in early March, and will move safety Mark Barron to a hybrid linebacker role.
The Rams are also reportedly set to host Ohio State safety Vonn Bell and Middle Tennessee State safety Kevin Byard. The former is a more highly-touted draft prospect, but both could be off the board by the end of the NFL draft’s second day. Barring any trades, the Rams will have a chance to make four top-80 selections at the end of this month, including a pair of second-round draft picks.