The free agency period is a chance for teams to improve their roster, but with the Rams sporting a new coaching staff, there’s sure to be turnover in Los Angeles.
With that in mind, here are the three types of Rams free agents for the 2017 offseason.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Unrestricted free agents are those most commonly referred to in the system, as they are free to sign with any team and usually receive the most significant contracts. This year, the Rams have eight UFAs.
Of the eight, McDonald could be one of the most in-demand players on the list. A third-round pick in 2013, the USC product has started 53 games in four seasons. The hard-hitting safety has 5.0 career sacks, four interceptions, 25 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
Britt has spent the last three years with the Rams, signing a two-year deal in 2015 to remain with the team after his one-year contract expired. In 2016, he became the franchise’s first player to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving since Torry Holt accomplished the feat in 2007.
Cunningham has been the Rams’ primary third-down running back and kick returner over the last few years. He re-signed with the club last year as a restricted free agent. He’s spent the last three years in the top five in kick return average, including No. 3 this year at 27.2 yards per return.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
As the title suggests, these free agents have some restrictions on where they may end up based on the tender extended to them by their current club. This year, the Rams have two restricted free agents.
Easley is a restricted free agent because he was waived from his original four-year contract and, as a former 2014 Patriots first-round pick, does not yet have four years of experience. The defensive tackle set career highs in games played (16), tackles (50), and sacks (2.5) in 2016 with Los Angeles.
L.A. placed the original-round tender on Easley, which gives the club the right of first refusal on any contract offer he receives from another team.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
These free agents are less frequently mentioned, in large part because they by and large stay with their same team.
These players have two seasons or fewer and can only negotiate with their former team once they are tendered. Essentially, these players receive a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. They’re usually players who are undrafted free agents that usually make the 53-man roster late in the season.
This year, the Rams have four exclusive rights free agents: