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Rams Ink Longtime Packers Linebacker Clay Matthews to Two-Year Deal

Clay Matthews is coming home, and the Rams could not be happier about it.

The former Green Bay Packers linebacker has inked a two-year deal with the Rams, a deal that according to NFL Network has a max value of $16.75 million.

The report claims Matthews did have other and even better offers, but wanted to be close to home after the birth of his child.

Matthews played at Agoura High School (Calif.), which is located close to the Rams’ practice facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

The former star at USC was a first-round pick of the Packers back in 2009. The 32-year-old spent the first 10 seasons with the Packers, making the Pro Bowl six times.

Last season he played in 16 games, putting up 43 tackles and 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

Rams to Visit with Former Jaguars Quarterback Blake Bortles

Last season the Rams really didn’t have much of a need for a backup quarterback, with Jared Goff starting all 16 games and throwing all but seven passes.

That’s not stopping the team though from addressing the position, as Monday they are set to have a chat with former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

NFL.com reports that Bortles will visit the Rams on Monday, looking for a new home after he was released by the Jaguars on Wednesday after they inked Eagles free agent QB Nick Foles to a new deal.

Current Rams backup Sean Mannion is currently a free agent, and if the team can ink Bortles, likely they wouldn’t bring Mannion back.

Bortles went 24-49 as a starter in five seasons, but was awful last season, going 3-9, throwing for 2,718 yards, with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 44.1.

Starting Linebacker Mark Barron Released by the Rams

The Rams have released starting inside linebacker Mark Barron, league sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN on Tuesday.

Barron, who was signed through 2020, had 43 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in 2018.

The Rams save $6.33 million on their salary cap with the move and will carry a dead-money charge of $3.33 million. If they designate Barron a post-June 1 release they will save $8 million on their salary cap. Barron was scheduled to receive a base salary of $5 million in 2019.

Ndamukong Suh Says ‘We’ll See’ When Asked About Future with the Rams

Two weeks before NFL free agency begins, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh told TMZ Sports he’s still unsure of his future with the Rams.

“We’ll see,” he said when asked about returning to the Rams.

Suh signed a 1-year, $14 million contract with the Rams last offseason … but that deal is expiring — and the 32-year-old didn’t exactly get Rams fans excited when we asked about the situation at Craig’s Monday night.

In his 16 games with L.A., he logged 4.5 sacks and 59 tackles.

Rams RB Todd Gurley Says He Felt Fine; Doesn’t Have Answer to Low Usage in Super Bowl LIII

Two weeks after Todd Gurley, the highest-paid running back in NFL history, was limited to five touches and 13 total yards in a victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game, he had 11 touches for 34 total yards in the Super Bowl.

But Gurley insists he is healthy and all is fine, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN reports.

“It’s cool, man,” Gurley said after the game. “It’s a team sport. There’s 11 people on the field. Everyone can’t touch the ball.”

The Rams finished with 260 total yards of offense, including 62 rushing yards. Running back C.J. Anderson, whom the Rams signed in mid-December, rushed for 22 yards in seven carries.

“There was some different situations, you could always look back, certainly that is going to be something I’m sure I’ll say, ‘I wish I could have got him more involved,'” McVay said. “The film is always a good chance to go back and look at it and I know there is a handful of decisions that I’m going to want back for sure.”

Quarterback Jared Goff said he would “love to get [Gurley] the ball,” but added, “That’s not my decision.”

Gurley, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract before the season, was sidelined for the final two games of the regular season because of inflammation in his left knee. He returned in a divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys and rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries.

But speculation regarding Gurley’s health grew when he made two uncharacteristic mistakes early in the NFC Championship Game and played a minimal role, then was unable to find a rhythm in the Super Bowl.

After the game Sunday, Gurley said he was “fine,” and added that he had an MRI on his knee following a Week 15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, during which he was sidelined for a series in the second half.

“I felt good,” Gurley said. “Whenever my name is called to get in, I’m ready.”

Rams Shut Down in Super Bowl LIII; Fall to Patriots in Bid for Championship 13-3

Sunday night the Rams were out of their element, and out of sync, as the master of defense in Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots defense was just too much, as the title hopes of Los Angeles fell in an ugly 13-3 loss.

“I’m almost numb,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after the game.

“They did great job but it was mostly result of me doing a poor job calling plays and not giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you ever get over this.”

The Rams simply did not play well, as they were held scoreless in the first half, scored their only points of the night in the third quarter, and then down 10-3 had a shot with about four minutes left, Jared Goff threw a bad pick deep in Patriots territory, ending the best shot for a touchdown and a chance to tie the game.

Goff was simply not good, as he was pressured often, and even when he had time missed on quite a few passes. He ended the night hitting on 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards, with an interception.

The Rams put up just 260 yards and 14 first down, and their three points matched the lowest total in Super Bowl history.

They were just 3-of-13 on third downs, again showing their inability all night to try and get anything going to put any pressure on the Patriots defense.

With the game tied at three in the fourth quarter, the Patriots went on a drive to win the game.

Tom Brady hit an 18-yard pass to massive TE Rob Gronkowski and then completed a pass to the games’ MVP Julian Edelman and another to Rex Burkhead.

The big play was a 29-yard pitch and catch between Brady and Gronkowski near the goal line. Sony Michel scored on a two-yard plunge to make it a 10-3 game with seven minutes left.

Goff and the Rams put a drive together, but Stephon Gilmore hauled in a bad Goff pass, ending their best chance of the night and basically putting the game away for the Patriots.

Brady completed 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards, with an interception. He threw a pick on the New England opening drive, but then didn’t make any more key mistakes as the Pats defense shut down the Rams all evening.

The Rams run game made no impact whatsoever, as Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson both did little, as the team as a whole ran for 62 yards on 18 carries.

New England ran for 154 yards on 32 carries, a 4.8 yards per carry average, and they simply wore down it appeared the Rams defense.

It was a fun ride, and there will be more to come for this Rams team, but for now this was a wasted opportunity – one that with just a few plays could have been vastly different.

Super Bowl LIII: Three Keys to a Rams Win and a Final Prediction

The Los Angeles Rams have overcome a lot in 2018 to make it to the promise land of Super Bowl LIII, a game that will see them try to exercise the demons of years past when they fell as a heavy favorite in the 2001 season to the Patriots in New Orleans.

This is a very different Rams team, they are young, hungry, and nearly all of them have never been on a stage this size as they look to finish off their goal of a title.

There’s plenty on the line, and today we will take a final look at the game, the three keys for the Rams, and a final prediction on how this is going to go today.

1. Don’t Let Brady Escape

The mystique of Tom Brady is real – he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer, has five Super Bowl rings to his resume, and is going to go down as the greatest QB in Super Bowl history.

The team cannot be intimated by Brady, and when the Rams super defenders have a chance to get to him and bring him down, much like what the Eagles did a season ago as they made the most of getting to Brady.

The Rams boast a much better defense than what the Eagles threw out, but the biggest thing is they can’t be awe struck by the greatness of Brady.

2. Find a Way to Run

The run game for the Rams is key, but there’s all kinds of rumors that Todd Gurley is not 100 percent, and that if he’s not it’s going to come down to C.J. Anderson carrying the load for the team.

Anderson has been reborn in this Rams offense over the past few weeks, and his game against the Cowboys shows that he’s got what it takes to make a huge impact on the Rams offense today.

Look for New England to try and put the Rams run game to rest early, therefore forcing Jared Goff to throw a ton, which is not a good recipe for the Rams.

3. Avoid Silly Mistakes

Playing in the Super Bowl is the most pressure any player will have in their career, and it’s during these pressure packed hours where careers are made or broken.

For the Rams, they have a number of young players who have never been there, and they have to make sure that the pressure isn’t too much for them to handle as they look to make history and overcome a team that is looking to set a record with their 6th Super Bowl title.

Penalties, letting emotions go wild, turnovers, these are all things that can quickly derail a team, and for the Rams their best shot at a win is to make sure to keep all that in check and avoid the type of mistakes that will cost them dearly.

Prediction – The Rams have come a long way since losing the wild card game at home to the Falcons last year, and have been impressive in beating the Cowboys and upsetting the Saints on the road 26-23 in overtime.

Today will be very tough, as look for Tom Brady to avoid that solid Rams pass rush by stepping up often in the pocket, look for a big game for TE Rob Gronkowski, and look for New England to finally escape last year’s demons by scoring touchdowns this time and not settling for field goals.

It should be a fun game, but one that will see the Pats hoisting their 6th Super Bowl Trophy in the end.

New England 34 Los Angeles 26

Veteran Wide Out DeSean Jackson Wants to Leave Buccaneers to Join Rams

Wide out DeSean Jackson wants out of Tampa Bay, and has his eyes on Los Angeles, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports.

“I don’t know about Frisco, man. State tax is crazy, man. That is home too though. I don’t know,” Jackson said during an appearance on The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast. … “If anything, I would like to kind of end up in L.A., being a Ram. Sean McVay, you know, we got some connection from when I was in D.C., but we’ll see how it plays out, man. Right now, I got another year in Tampa. So we’ll see how it plays out, man.”

The history with the Rams coach makes sense, but the rest is fairly laughable, unless Jackson wants to take a large pay cut. The receiver is due $10 million in the final year of his deal with the Buccaneers, who have little incentive to trade him other than to rid themselves of a potential malcontent (or to clear $10 million in cap to spend elsewhere).

If Tampa decides to part ways with Jackson — who caught 41 passes for 774 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games in 2018 — it likely will first attempt to trade him for assets. A veteran speedster on a one-year, $10 million deal is a movable contract, but probably not to Los Angeles.

The Rams already have a deep threat in Brandin Cooks, who they just signed to an $81 million contract that runs through 2023. They’re doing just fine without him, and would be better served to use their projected $35 million elsewhere, especially while Jared Goff is on his rookie deal.