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John Wolford and Bryce Perkins gained valuable experience in 2022 | Free Agent Spotlight

Already with live game experience from either the regular season or preseason, quarterbacks John Wolford and Bryce Perkins were both kept on the Rams' initial 53-man roster for the second-straight season when it was unveiled in late August 2022.

Little did Los Angeles know how important it would be to have retained both.

As starter Matthew Stafford endured an injury-shortened season, the Rams would lean on both Wolford and Perkins as starters prior to Baker Mayfield's arrival in early December, giving them valuable experience.

Now, Wolford and Perkins are scheduled to become restricted free agents when the new league year begins on March 15.

So, what's next for the Rams and their primary reserve signal-callers from the last two seasons?

Start first with what being a restricted free agent means.

According to's free agency glossary, a restricted free agent can negotiate and sign with any team, but their original team can offer them different qualifying offers – also known as "tenders" – that come with right of first refusal and/or draft pick compensation. If that tender is withdrawn by the player's original team, they become an unrestricted free agent. The amounts for those tenders change every year. The deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents is prior to 1 p.m. pacific time on March 15 – the beginning of the new league year.

The tenders are for one year, which means if the Rams tender Wolford or Perkins, or both, and neither player signs an offer sheet from another team, they would be returning on one-year deals. This year, restricted free agents have until April 21 to sign offer sheets from other teams, while NFL teams have until April 26 to exercise right of first refusal. More on restricted free agents can be found here – note that the tender amounts on the page are for 2022; the amounts for 2023 have yet to be announced.

Thus, L.A. could tender one or both players – and exercise right of first refusal, if necessary – to retain them. There's no doubting the value of having at least one quarterback with three or more seasons' worth of knowledge of its offense (Wolford four, Perkins three). Wolford has started four of seven games played since 2020, while Perkins started one of five games played in 2022.

If the Rams decide to go in a different direction and not bring back either player, they would likely have to explore replacement options via free agency or the draft, given Mayfield is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and said after the Rams' season finale that he knows he's good enough to be a starting quarterback. Would their experience with Mayfield lead to them potentially seeking out a more experienced backup?

Take a look through the best photos of Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, Baker Mayfield, John Wolford & Bryce Perkins throughout the 2022 season.

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