NFL free agency is off and running, and we're keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2020 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from Bill Barnwell. The new league year begins March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, which means free-agent signings can be made official after that. The first round of the 2020 NFL draft begins April 23.
Leonard Floyd, outside linebacker
What it means: Floyd will immediately fill the role of Fowler, who has agreed to a three-year, $48 million contract with Falcons. Floyd has a history with new Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, who was his position coach for two seasons in Chicago. Last season, Floyd had 12 quarterback hits and three sacks.
What's the risk: The No. 9 overall pick in the 2016 draft, the Bears chose to release Floyd rather than have him play out his fifth-year option. In Chicago, Floyd was widely considered a regrettable selection with a first-round pick. However, as the market for pass rushers thins out, a one-year deal is low risk for the Rams and it could turn out in their favor if Floyd can play up to the potential he once was known for.
Michael Brockers, defensive tackle
After a deal with the Ravens fell through over concerns about his injured left ankle, defensive tackle Michael Brockers is returning to the Rams on a three-year deal, Brockers' agent confirmed to ESPN.
What it means: In a surprise turn of events, Brockers' deal with the Ravens fell through and the eight-year NFL veteran will return to the Rams. Brockers' return is huge for a defense that has lost several starters, including outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. and linebacker Cory Littleton. Brockers run-stopping ability is crucial to the success of the defensive line, as is his chemistry with long-time teammate Aaron Donald.
What's the risk: There could be reason for concern over Brockers' health after he suffered a high-ankle sprain in the season finale. It's reportedly that same ankle that became an issue in finalizing his deal in Baltimore.
Andrew Whitworth, offensive tackle
The Rams left tackle, at age 38, agreed to a three-year deal to return to the team.
What it means: It was critical for the Rams to come to terms with Whitworth on a new deal, as they have yet to determine who could replace the veteran left tackle. Since joining the Rams in 2017, Whitworth hsa provided stability in protecting quarterback Jared Goff, and has proven himself as a leader not only on the line, but throughout the locker room and L.A. community.
What's the risk: It is no secret Whitworth is getting older. He turned 38 in December and now is entering his 15th season. Last season, he saw a spike in penalties, committing 14, which amounted to the NFL's second-highest total. Though Whitworth agreed to a three-year deal, it will be important that the Rams soon develop a young left tackle who can step in if needed.
Austin Blythe, guard
The Rams re-signed one of their most versatile offensive linemen, bringing Blythe back on a one-year deal.
What it means:Blythe agreed to return on a one-year deal, ensuring that the Rams will be able to keep some continuity on a young and developing offensive line. Blythe earned a starting role in 2018 and has proved his versatility since, playing left guard, right guard and center. His return gives the Rams some flexibility as they await center Brian Allen's return from a season-ending knee injury.
What's the risk:There is no risk in re-signing Blythe. He has proven to be durable and reliable the last two seasons. He is a steady starter and also can fill any role on the interior of the line.
A'Shawn Robinson, defensive tackle
The Rams agreed to a two-year deal with former Detroit Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, a source confirmed to ESPN.
What it means: Robinson fills a definite need for the Rams on the defensive line with questions still surrounding the development of defensive tackle Greg Gaines.
What's the risk: Robinson was a part-time player in Detroit and it remains uncertain how significant of a load he can play going forward. A second-round pick in 2016 from Alabama, he only has one season in the NFL in which he started all 16 games. He played only a 13-game season in both 2018 and 2019. A two-year, $17-million, depending on how it is structured, could be concerning.