Around the NFL  

 

Rams held trade announcement in honor of Kobe

Print

The Rams are moving to Los Angeles, a city of beautiful faces.

To woo aloof L.A. fans, the team needed a face of the franchise at quarterback to sell. Case Keenum was not going to work, no matter how hard coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead spun the narrative.

Not in Tinseltown. Los Angeles is the land of stars. It's the city of Magic, Kareem, Kobe, Wayne Gretzky, Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufax, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Eric Dickerson.

The Rams really planned to move into the most narcissistic city in the country with an undrafted, mediocre talent at the most important position in sports? Case Keenum's face on posters isn't selling promise or tickets in Los Angeles.

Fisher, a Southern California native, understands the pulse of the city. The coach gets it so much that, according to NFL Media columnist Michael Silver, the Rams delayed announcing the blockbuster trade for the No. 1 overall pick until Thursday because they didn't want to upstage Kobe Bryant's final game with the Lakers.

Fisher told reporters during a news conference Thursday the deal with the Titans was done around 8 p.m. ET Wednesday. The Rams gave up a huge haul, but a chance to snag a franchise quarterback is priceless. Ask a team without one. Ask Rams fans about the past half-dozen years.

Snead blew smoke at the combine, insisting quarterback isn't a vital need and that winning is possible with replacement-level talent at the position. Thursday's trade shows he knows otherwise.

Los Angeles is now in a position to select either Cal quarterback Jared Goff or North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz, the consensus top two signal-callers in the draft. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported the Rams have already conducted on-campus workouts with both.

Either could provide a promising future, even if the team says from the outset they aren't ready from Day 1. As we saw with Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, a promising quarterback can force his way onto the field and spark enthusiasm throughout the fan base.

With the rookie salary wage, Los Angeles will also have a quarterback under contract for the next five years well under market value, allowing them to beef up other positions and ditch the string of 7-9 seasons.

The most important things in garnering interest from indifferent fans in Los Angeles -- aside from glitz -- is a dominant team and a face to sell to the crowds. The Rams can now get the latter, which might help finally succeed at the former.

Print