The Los Angeles Rams have usually opted for cheap backups at the quarterback position over experienced former starters, but signing Carson Wentz midseason is a sign that Sean McVay won’t be so fast and loose with the next one. If it’s not Wentz, which it could be and probably should be, then maybe McVay and Les Snead would look towards former number one overall pick Jameis Winston.
At least, that’s what Spotrac predicted in a recent article.
In predicting the offseason quarterback situation for all 32 teams, Spotrac decided to link Winston to the Rams as Matthew Stafford’s next backup in 2024 with a one-year, $4 million contract:
Don’t look now, but Matthew Stafford is going to finish 2023 in the Top 10 of many passing stats, and with a Top 5 QB grade according to PFF. All $31M of his 2024 compensation is fully guaranteed right now, and $10M of his 2025 salary locks in on March 15th.
Behind him, it’s hard to imagine Stetson Bennett can be relied on as a true QB2 going forward, and Carson Wentz’s prorated minimum contract expires at the end of 2023. There’s work to be done here.
THE RAMS CONVERT $29M OF STAFFORD’S 2024 SALARY INTO A SIGNING BONUS, FREEING UP $23M OF CAP SPACE. LA SIGNS JAMEIS WINSTON TO A 1 YEAR, $4M CONTRACT TO BACK HIM UP.
It’s true that the Rams can’t rely on Stetson Bennett as the sole option behind Stafford next year, but is Spotract implying that Wentz will be offered a chance to start somewhere in 2024?
I don’t see who would do that unless Wentz were to make an extended appearance this year, which the Rams really really do not want to see happen.
Wentz last played a half-season with Washington in 2022 and nobody signed him in the offseason. He hasn’t made any pass attempts with the Rams but he is getting experience with the team and the playbook and McVay, so while L.A. was unable to retain Baker Mayfield this year because he was able to get a second chance at starter, I don’t think they’ll have a difficult time keeping Wentz if both sides are interested.
However, in the event that Wentz does leave, Winston is an option and I’m sure that Joe Flacco is inspiring many former starters to wonder if they could find the same success if they just hold onto their careers in any way possible.
Winston started 70 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had some success finding the end zone but too often targeted the wrong team: 121 touchdowns to 88 interceptions in 70 games.
He has spent the last four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, starting seven games in 2021 and winning five of those after throwing 14 touchdowns and only three picks. But no team saw that as a reason to offer him a starting opportunity and he’s served as Derek Carr’s backup in New Orleans this year.
He will be a free agent and soon turns 30, which still makes him a lot younger than Flacco. Wentz turns 31 on Saturday and is also a good option to remain behind Stafford.