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Rams 2023 NFL free-agent signings: OL Shelton, DT Copeland re-sign – Los Angeles Rams Blog- ESPN – ESPN

NFL free agency is off and running, and we’re keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2023 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year began March 15, which means free-agent signings could be made official after that. The first round of the 2023 NFL draft begins April 27 on ESPN.
With a limited amount of cap space — even after trading star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins — the Los Angeles Rams have been among the less active teams in free agency. The team reworked offensive tackle Joe Noteboom‘s contract to create $9 million in cap space.
Here’s a breakdown of every 2023 NFL free-agent signing by the Rams and how each will impact the upcoming season:
The Rams are bringing back Marquise Copeland on a one-year deal.
What it means: The Rams already lost defensive lineman Greg Gaines in free agency (he signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and could lose defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson, who is an unrestricted free agent. The Rams don’t have much depth on the defensive line right now and may rely on a younger, more inexperienced group. Copeland, an undrafted free agent in 2020, is coming off his best season and likely will have plenty of chances to build on the opportunities he had at the end of last season.
What’s the risk: The Rams brought back Copeland after choosing not to tender him as a restricted free agent, so the one-year deal is a low-cost solution to bring back a more experienced player for the Rams’ defensive line. Los Angeles hasn’t spent much in free agency thus far; Copeland is just the second player the team has re-signed since the start of the new league year.
The Rams re-signed OL Coleman Shelton to a two-year contract.
What it means: Shelton played well enough in 2022 that he chose to void the final season of the two-year deal he signed last offseason, and he was rewarded with a new contract. Although the Rams dealt with significant injuries to their offensive line last season, Shelton started 13 games for Los Angeles, missing just four games with a high ankle sprain. Los Angeles was happy to have the versatile Shelton back; the offensive lineman started games at right guard, center and left guard last season due to injuries to the group.
What’s the risk: There isn’t much risk in bringing back a dependable lineman, as the Rams did on Wednesday. Re-signing Shelton was a smart move because of the number of questions on the offensive line, especially given how hard the group was hit with injuries last season. Those injuries exposed the lack of depth on the offensive line, although it’s hard to imagine many teams could have thrived with the same number of injuries to the position group. According to Football Outsiders, the Rams had 71.0 adjusted games lost on the offensive line, significantly more than the previous high of 57.1 AGL by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020. McVay made it clear the team knows there are moves to make on the offensive line; bringing back Shelton is the first move to strengthen the unit.


Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
Articles: 8825

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