The 2021 NFL season is over and the Los Angeles Rams are the Super Bowl Champions. The NFC West Champs were considered a contender during last offseason when they made the blockbuster trade for quarterback Matthew Stafford and moved the rest of their chips into the middle of the table when they traded for Von Miller and signed Odell Beckham, Jr. All their moves (designed to win now) paid off, and now they are winners of the Super Bowl. However, the question I have is if going all-in and winning worth all the pain fans will endure over the next few years as the cost of putting together the 2021 Los Angeles Rams is paid off?
Despite being a Jets (NOT Giants) fan, seeing Odell Beckham, Jr. crying over this half-season run to the Super Bowl title in his street clothes after suffering another knee injury was difficult to watch. Beckham, who talked his way out of Cleveland after being traded there by the Giants, was so much about himself even in winning a title that I would have expected him to demand a ring even if the Rams lost Sunday night since, after all, he scored the game’s first touchdown.
I think it’s fair to say that how the Rams put together their team is the atypical method that most NFL teams use nowadays. In fact, how the Cincinnati Bengals, the team they defeated, put together their team, through building a defense in free agency over the last two years and finding young offensive start in the draft like QB Joe Burrow and WR Ja’Marr Chase is how most teams would ideally want to put together their roster and win the Super Bowl. That’s because in most cases, the way the Bengals are constructed gives them a better chance of competing for a title in the years to come, whereas, while successful, the Rams’ window of opportunity is now likely shut tight.
With so many sports franchise owners being copycats, it is likely that one or two owners in the next few years will say to their general manager “If the Rams can buy a title, why can’t we?” This will force those teams to start overpaying for older star players on the free agent and trade markets, and mortgaging the team’s future for one, maybe even two years of being true contenders. While some fans may also want an owner to go “all-in,” what those owners and fans don’t understand is that there are only so many bullets in the gun they can fire to do what the Rams did before they need to rebuild the organization.
Los Angeles fans will turn on players like Odell Beckham, Jr. as soon as his performance tails off in the worst possible way, not by booing him and his teammates, but by not showing up to games (I know, Rams fans already don’t show up).
What happened on Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t reward hard work like the Bengals did in finding a great young head coach, their quarterback, and the talented players around him. It rewards taking shortcuts and paying over retail prices for players who won’t be part of their team in two years. So, live it up LA and enjoy your title; because it isn’t likely you will be a true contender again until the 2030’s.
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Did The Rams Prove It Is Worth Going All-In? | TooAthletic.com