Rams 'definitely' interested in keeping Suh, Fowler

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead told reporters Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine that he doesn't plan on using a franchise tag on a player ahead of free agency.

But that doesn't mean the Rams aren't opposed to bringing back two key defensive players from the 2018 season set to hit the open market when the league's new calendar year kicks off on March 13.

Head coach Sean McVay said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Rams are "definitely" interested in re-signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and edge rusher Dante Fowler.

"The biggest thing you look at with Ndamukong, outstanding job in the playoffs where he was really affecting the game in a variety of ways," McVay said of Suh. "You saw why he's been such a force throughout the course of his career. He's definitely somebody that I think we're very interested in."

Suh, who joined the Rams on a one-year deal in 2018, teamed up with NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald to provide a formidable tandem in the interior of the Rams' defensive line. He appeared in all 16 regular-season games, totaling 59 tackles and 4.5 sacks, and made a tremendous impact during the Rams' postseason run to Super Bowl LIII.

The Rams head coach continued the praise when the subject turned to Fowler, whom the Rams acquired during the season via trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Dante Fowler did such a great job of making an impact in a variety of games. You look at the forced fumble he forces against Seattle that leads to a touchdown that ends up being the difference in winning and losing that game," McVay said. "You look at him forcing the errant pass in the NFC Championship Game. He made a handful of plays in the run game, he had a great third-down stop in the run game where he comes back underneath against New England.

"He's definitely a guy we're interested in bringing back, but similar to Ndamukong, you know they're going to have some interest."

Fowler appeared in eight games with six starts for the Rams during the regular season, totaling 21 tackles, two sacks and five quarterback hits.

Meanwhile, it isn't uncommon to hear head coaches express a desire to bring back players set to become free agents. But in the case of Suh and Fowler, that exact scenario makes perfect sense for a championship-caliber team possessing some of the NFL's top defensive players.

McVay knows the two players will draw interest and perhaps even offers from other teams on the open market, but he certainly would like to see them back in a Rams uniform.

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