Why Rams GM Les Snead is saying rework as a substitute of rebuild

Les Snead celebrated his 52nd birthday Thursday, however the Rams common supervisor already had obtained an early current when coach Sean McVay final week knowledgeable group officers he would return subsequent season.

So, Snead is shifting forward unencumbered because the Rams try to bounce again from their misplaced season.

A 12 months after successful Tremendous Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, the Rams completed 5-12, the worst season-after efficiency by a champion in NFL historical past.

Throughout a videoconference with reporters, Snead mentioned, “We did not meet our standard” and several other instances described his 2023 mission as a “remodel” slightly than a rebuild for a group that options highly-paid stars resembling quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Cooper Kupp, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Snead, the Rams’ common supervisor since 2012, declined to specify which gamers may very well be re-signed, launched or dangled as potential commerce items for a group that will probably be with out a first-round draft choose for the seventh 12 months in row.

“All things are in play, he said.

Jalen Ramsey, left, celebrates his interception with Rams teammate Bobby Wagner.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Some takeaways from the media briefing:

Sigh of relief: For the second year in a row, McVay publicly pondered stepping away from coaching for a team that in 2017 made the then 30-year-old the youngest coach in modern NFL history.

Snead was not surprised.

“The guy’s been basically running an 800-meter sprint every week since he got our job,” Snead mentioned, including, “Over time, like at some point, you know a hamstring is going to get tight, a hamstring is going to get pulled and you’re not going to be able to do it.”

The Rams had been ready if McVay had opted to step away, Snead mentioned.

“It was more we were talking conceptually about how to evolve our, let’s call it, daily, monthly, annual rhythms to make this a sustainable outfit,” Snead mentioned.

Snead and the Rams can now relaxation straightforward … till the tip of subsequent season, when McVay virtually actually will revisit taking a break.

About that rework: The Rams constructed their Tremendous Bowl roster by buying and selling a number of first-round picks for Ramsey and Stafford and second- and third-round picks for edge rusher Von Miller, who signed with the Buffalo Payments after final season.

And so they did it whereas navigating large lifeless cash hits for the discharge of gamers resembling operating again Todd Gurley III and the commerce that despatched quarterback Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for Stafford.

Now they’re at a crossroads.

“We’re probably going to have to, let’s call it, not press the gas as much and pay a little bit of the debt that we’ve accumulated,” Snead mentioned.

The Rams paid a value this season as gamers counted on to play key roles suffered accidents or underperformed.

The Rams nonetheless have a top-heavy roster however stay in want of top-tier offensive linemen, an edge rusher, an efficient complement for Kupp and depth within the secondary.

Snead didn’t sound as if he had been able to tear aside the roster and begin over.

“We’re very well aware that some of our core players, right, are in their primes and are getting closer to the twilight of their primes,” he mentioned. “But that does not mean, right, when you’re a player like that in your prime that you’re still not very productive and can be very successful.”

Stars are aligned — for now: Stafford, Kupp and Donald, all of whom obtained extensions or a large increase after the Tremendous Bowl victory, didn’t play within the latter a part of the 2021 season due to season-ending accidents.

Ramsey didn’t obtain an extension however performed in each recreation.

Proper deal with Rob Havenstein signed an extension earlier than the season, and veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner proved a worthwhile funding.

Can the Rams retain the whole thing of their core?

Snead declined to say.

“Every year since we’ve been here,” he mentioned, “there’s been moments where we’ve had to say goodbye to key contributors.”

On second thought: At a victory rally final February, Snead famously yelled to an adoring crowd, “F them picks. We’ll use them to go win more Super Bowls.”

Snead was referencing the a number of high-round picks the Rams traded to amass star gamers.

“I will admit that any time you probably say something like that … you’re going to eat those words at some point in time,” Snead mentioned Thursday, including that he was having enjoyable with a play off a preferred meme. “If we truly believed in effing them picks in that sense of the word, we’d just give them to our division opponents …

“But we’ve definitely taken the draft serious. We think it’s really the heartbeat, right, of the franchise.”

Snead mentioned he made a “subliminal slip” on the rally.

“I truly intended to say, ‘We effed these picks to win Los Angeles a Super Bowl championship,’” Snead mentioned. “So, I always knew I was going to eat those words at some point.”

Feeling a draft: Due to their traditionally poor end this season, the Rams would have owned the sixth choose within the April draft however that belongs to the Lions as a part of the Goff-Stafford commerce.

With compensation picks for the departure of free brokers, Snead initiatives the Rams may have 10 picks.

However the Rams is not going to make their first choose till the second spherical. Additionally they have a third-round choose however the bulk fall within the sixth and seventh rounds.

Snead declined to say whether or not the Rams would give Ramsey an extension or commerce him to amass draft capital. However he’s clearly wanting ahead to 2024 when the Rams lastly may have a first-round choose.

“Getting back to having some first-rounders, getting back to having second- and third-rounders will be advantageous,” he mentioned. “Where we’re at, probably from a roster standpoint, that will be healthy for us to add younger players, players on their rookie contracts that are going to become cogs. …

“We’re going to call this chapter 3 of the Sean McVay era.”