According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Rams and Jimmy Garoppolo “had the makings of a deal” in place if the 30-year-old QB had been released by the San Francisco 49ers. Hearing this now, if it’s indeed true, isn’t shocking. Under head coach Sean McVay, the Rams have built their team on star power, obtaining as much of it as possible. Salary cap be damned; McVay’s Rams always find a way.
Schefter also reported that San Francisco knew nothing about this alleged backdoor deal until after they’d restructured Garoppolo’s contract. If this were the NBA, we’d hear the ‘T’ word thrown around like darts at the local pub. Tampering isn’t nearly as big of a deal in the NFL, as we rarely hear it referred to. The NFL has what they call a “legal tampering” period, but teams are prohibited from talking to soon-to-be free agents before this period begins.
But there’s more to this story than just the Rams’ sneaky behavior. While this would have been a Ram-like move swooping up Jimmy G, it raises further concern about the situation with Matthew Stafford’s arm. Stafford’s been dealing with elbow tendinitis after undergoing a procedure following the team’s Super Bowl win last season.
Stafford threw three interceptions in the season opener against Buffalo on Thursday night in a game where LA got handled rather thoroughly by the Bills, 31-10. The Rams were shut out in three quarters, scoring all 10 points in the second period. There were some errant passes from Stafford, although he completed 70 percent of his attempts.
The would-be signing of Garoppolo could signal a more significant issue in the Rams locker room. Stafford’s arm could be in a more severe state than they’ve led anyone to believe. There was already a giant target on the Rams as defending champs, but now, with Stafford’s uncertainty, that bullseye looms larger than before.
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If Stafford’s injured arm continues to be an issue, keep an eye on LA as they may opt to bring in another QB. Luckily for the Rams, playing that opening Thursday night means they get a 10-day rest between Weeks 1 and 2. And next Sunday, another 0-1 team visits Sofi in the Atlanta Falcons. Their QB2 is John Wolford, but he was in the building while they made plans for Jimmy G.
McVay must not be sold on Wolford filling in if Stafford misses time this season. Maybe McVay will attempt to dust off Cam Newton and give him one last chance since he’s currently in free agent limbo.