For some of you, I’m sure I am preaching to the choir.
And for some of you, you probably think I am an absolute idiot.
While I won’t argue that I’m not an idiot, I will argue Les Snead’s time as the General Manager and architect of the Los Angeles Rams has run its course and its time to move on. But I hear you say “The team just made the Super Bowl two seasons ago!” You’re right they did, but I am asking you to forget the recency bias and look at his entire tenure at the helm.
Here’s how the team has fared since then:
- And most recently, 9-7
The Rams didn’t have a winning season for his first five seasons, and it wasn’t until Sean McVay came along the team started winning games for a change. Is that also an indictment against former coach Jeff Fisher? Yes, but he gets way more criticism than he should for the performance of his Rams teams. The whole 8-8 joke has taken on a life of its own, and now its all Coach Fisher is known for.
The 17 seasons prior to becoming HC for the Rams Jeff Fisher went 142-120. The guy could coach, you can’t tell me he coached for the same organization for 17 seasons and somehow stumbled and bumbled his way for that long.
Now I certainly am not saying I wish Jeff Fisher was still our head coach. I think it was pretty obvious at the end of his run with the team he had lost the ear of the locker room and it was just not going to work. Here is where the old grocery analogy comes in. Les Snead was buying the groceries, and Jeff Fisher was tasked to make the meal. As the saying goes, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken S***.
I will only include picks made in the first round through the fourth round. I am focusing on these rounds because, in my opinion, these are the rounds where you expect your picks to give you some return on investment. Anything you get of value from a fifth, sixth, or seventh-rounder is a huge bonus.
|2||33||Brian Quick||WR||Appalachian State|
|2||39||Janoris Jenkins||CB||North Alabama|
|4||96||Chris Givens||WR||Wake Forest|
Michael Brockers is the only player still with the team. Pead and Givens aren’t even in the NFL anymore.
|1||8||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|3||92||Stedman Bailey||WR||West Virginia|
None of these players are still with the team. Austin was a huge bust, McDonald, Bailey, and Jones no longer play in the NFL.
|2||41||Lamarcus Joyner||CB||Florida State|
|4||110||Maurice Alexander||SS||Utah State|
Obviously, Donald has turned out to be an amazing pick. Robinson at #2 is another huge bust, and besides Donald, none of these other players are still with the team.
|3||89||Sean Mannion||QB||Oregon State|
Gurley turned out to be a great pick, and Havenstein is a solid player, besides that none of these guys, are with the team.
|4||110||Tyler Higbee||TE||Western Kentucky|
|4||117||Pharoh Cooper||WR||South Carolina|
Goff has shown flashes of brilliance but the book is still out on him, Higbee appears to be on the rise as a playmaker, and Cooper is no longer with the team-logging 25 catches in 31 games with the Rams.
|2||44||Gerald Everett||TE||South Alabama|
|3||69||Cooper Kupp||WR||Eastern Washington|
|3||91||John Johnson||SAF||Boston College|
|4||117||Josh Reynolds||WR||Texas A&M|
|4||125||Samson Ebukam||LB||Eastern Washington|
Everett has a lot of potential but we haven’t seen him breakout yet, Kupp is an exceptional WR who you would think has a very bright future with the team, Johnson has shown great instincts in the backfield, he just needs to stay healthy, Reynolds is a solid fourth option at WR, and Ebukam appears to be another player with a high ceiling. All players still with the team! No busts!
|3||89||Joe Noteboom||T||Texas Christian|
|4||111||Brian Allen||C||Michigan State|
|4||135||John Franklin-Myers||DE||Stephen F. Austin St.|
Noteboom is a role player who is coming off an ACL tear, Allen started 9 games this past season before being placed on IR in November, he had 4 penalties in 9 games. Franklin-Myers is no longer with the team.
Still really early to judge these guys. I personally was really impressed with how Bobby Evans filled in last year for an injured Havenstein at RT.
For the most part, there are some HUGE misses in these drafts. My favorite year is 2014. Got to love taking Greg Robinson at #2 and THEN taking Donald at #13.
Do I think the team will actually get rid of Snead the day before the draft? Of course not.
Do I think the ship has sailed on his time as the General Manager of the team? Yes.
And this is the conclusion I came to with only looking at his draft history. I haven’t even discussed his track record with contracts.
Taking a look at some of the recent deals he has handed out you have to just scratch your head and wonder what the hell is going on here. Todd Gurley was given a 4 year, $60 million dollar ($45 Million guaranteed) deal when he still had two years left on his rookie deal. A deal that would have paid him $2.3 million and $9.6 million in 2019. How did that turn out? The extension never even kicked in. Gurley was released the day before it could take effect. The team has paid him $34.5 million to date for the new extension, for zero production. Think about how embarrassing that is. You signed a player for a four-year extension (when you had no reason to) and you guaranteed him $45 million dollars for production that you never received.
Or how about the Brandin Cooks deal? Snead thought so highly of Cooks he traded a first and sixth-round pick to the Patriots. But wait for theres more! Snead then decided to give Cooks a 5-year contract extension for $81 million, with $50 million guaranteed. Two seasons later Cooks is gone, the Rams are stuck with a $21.8 million dead cap hit, and for what? So Snead could get the 57th pick in this year’s draft. Huh??
So between Gurley and Cooks, the Rams are stuck with $33.5 million in dead cap this season. think about how much money that is for two players, two players who won’t even be suiting up for your team.
And then there’s the Goff deal. Goff could be playing on a 5th-year option this season which would have cost the team $22 million. Instead, he will be playing this season on a $36 million cap figure with $74 million guaranteed through 2022.
I have no idea how you could objectively look at this track record for Snead and think “Yep! This is the guy!” What about his track would suggest to you he can build this franchise into a consistent winner? A dream destination for free agents who have Super Bowl aspirations.
While the timing of a move like this is incredibly wrong, you can’t deny moving on from Snead is by the far the best option.
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