viksrams

Rams are a complete mess

The St. Louis Rams are in the fourth year of the regime involving general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher. The first three years were full of potential and promise, but the team missed the playoffs each time with quarterback Sam Bradford ending up on Injured Reserve with torn ACLs in each of the past two campaigns.

In the offseason, the Rams decided to make major changes. Before the NFL Draft, Snead called up the Philadelphia Eagles and dealt Bradford in the final year of his deal for quarterback Nick Foles and a 2016 second-round pick. It was a blockbuster and one that Snead doubled down on when he signed Foles – who made it to the 2013 Pro Bowl after throwing 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions – to a two-year, $24 million extension.

In hindsight, it seems the Rams were screwed either way. Bradford has been terrible in Philadelphia and is now hurt with a concussion. Meanwhile, Foles has been mostly ineffective, completing only 56.6 percent of his passes with 1,676 yards and just seven touchdowns to six interceptions. The season has been brutal for Foles, who many believed would do well under Fisher after a change of scenery.

St. Louis has decided to bench Foles and go with Case Keenum, something that is perplexing from multiple angles. First, Keenum is a backup quarterback at best, and certainly not more talented than Foles, despite his myriad struggles. Second, Foles is locked in for the next two years. How can the Rams dump Foles to the bench when they have so much invested in him?

In reality, St. Louis is absolutely stuck with Foles through next season. His cap hit is $8.750 million while cutting him would actually give the Rams $9.750 million in dead money. At this point, it is almost certain St. Louis will part ways before the 2017 season, where it can save $12.25 million with only $1 million in dead money.

After nine games in a season that must in the postseason, the Rams are 4-5 and looking like a team destined to go 7-9 or 8-8. St. Louis nailed its first-round draft pick, landing running back and superstar Todd Gurley. The youngster from the University of Georgia looks like an absolute steal, but the rest of the offense is beyond uninspiring.

The receivers are lackluster at best, led by veteran Kenny Britt and former first-round selection Tavon Austin. This year, Austin has caught only 30 passes for 305 yards, moving ever-closer to being labeled a bust. It has been another failure under Snead and Fisher, and perhaps indicative of a systematic failure.

Barring a huge turnaround, the Rams need to fire Snead and Fisher. They need to move on and figure out what the next step is. After all, this experiment is a failed one.

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