Les Snead Always Double Downs On Eleven

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ROD-BOT

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Les Snead Always Double Downs On Eleven

Saturday night January 31st, a week before the Super Bowl, a shockwave went through the football world. Rams GM Les Snead pulled off what many deemed impossible and traded Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions along with two firsts and a third for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford and Sean McVay were “conveniently” vacationing in Cabo at the same time and were surely just as shocked as every NFL writer who had to put up a post and or podcast in the dead of night.

Jared Goff’s contract, as well as a plateaued level of pay, gave him the Kelly Blue Book value of an old rental car and YET the Rams walked away with an upgrade at quarterback. That’s been the M.O. of Les Snead since he was hired in 2012. He’ll wheel and deal, Ric Flair style, picks, and the salary cap be damned.

He doesn’t get credit for it, but Les Snead is one of the best GMs in the NFL. Reckless, yes, but like Gregory House, he gets the job done. What’s fascinating is the way his gambling has evolved over the years.

When he was hired in 2012 he immediately made two big splashes, 1) he hires Jeff Fisher because the Rams needed a grown-up after going in on Steve Spagnuolo, and 2) he flipped the 2nd overall pick to Washington for three 1st rounders, and a 2nd round pick. This trade didn’t entirely work out for both parties as RGIII didn’t pan out and the Rams didn’t come away with any real blue-chip players outside of Michael Brockers. However, this trade would serve as a Rosetta Stone for his philosophy. Make a big move and if that move doesn’t work quickly pivot to make smaller moves.

It also taught him that 1st-round picks aren’t the end all be all of building a successful team. He’s much more content to flip those picks into a proven commodity like Brandin Cooks or Jalen Ramsey. Now, this strategy is dangerous and there were times where it felt like the Rams were frantically running around Los Angeles like he was Howard Ratner, but this is how Les wins.

In 2016, Les Snead would invert his 2012 splash and traded two 1st-round picks, two 2nd-round picks, and two 3rd-round picks to Tennesse for Jared Goff. At the time this seemed…desperate and looks that way in hindsight. Yes, they could’ve sucked an extra year, had the 5th overall pick and taken Patrick Mahomes, or Deshaun Watson. Or they could’ve used the 10th pick in 2016 on a blue-chip BPA and taken Dak Prescott in that draft and used the 5th overall pick the next year on a star but that’s not the Les Snead way.

For him, the action is the juice, but also it’s highly likely that went down because that was their first season in Los Angeles and they needed a star quarterback to boost ticket sales and Goff looked like he could fit the bill (more on him later). What supports Snead’s gambling habit is the fact that he’s a savvy drafter, especially in the later rounds, and he also has a great eye for off-the-field talent.

By hiring McVay, who in turn had a smart eye for talent himself, infrastructure was built that allowed Les to keep taking chances. McVay hasn’t had a 1st round pick his entire tenure in LA but that hasn’t mattered at all. McVay and his coaching staff developed Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods (a free agent signing but not a 1st-round pick), Cam Akers, Jordan Fuller, Tyler Higbee, Terrell Burgess, John Johnson, Josh Reynolds, etc., into quality starters.

The Rams have had coaches and executives get poached throughout the years despite the perception of TV/Twitter pundits thinking the Rams are a loser organization, and yet, the rest of the league has tried to pick the Rams clean, on, and off the field. Why? Because Les Snead has, through both skill and luck, incubated a lot of talent despite the Rams not winning a Super Bowl (yet).

The flip side to this though is the fact that Les always doubles down. One of the things that have forced him to go all California Split (RIP George Segal) every year is that the Rams are too quick to sign players to lucrative extensions. Yes, that falls on the feet of Tony Pastoors but Les is in charge of it all so it’s not as though he’s been blindsided.

The premature extensions created a lot of problems because not only did the players not live up to the contracts but it prevented them from making any upgrades or keeping other starters on the roster. The biggest example of course was Todd Gurley whom the Rams are still eating dead cap space. Ditto Brandin Cooks, and now Jared Goff.

The thing that’s kept Les from being buried under all that burnt money is his ability to pivot. When the Rams inexplicably signed Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn (that was more defendable), Les traded them for picks that would bear fruit the following year. Yes, they carried a little dead-cap but getting young starters for little money balanced things out.

With the Gurley, Goff, and Cooks deals, however, this would seem beyond the pale and while some brutal sacrifices were made, Les figured out a way to replace Gurley with Cam Akers, and because Bill O’Brien was still in charge, managed to get a 2nd-round pick for Brandin Cooks and that pick turned out to be Van Jefferson.

Turning Goff into Stafford was the apex of this strategy. Again all of these scenarios are not ideal, but being nimble enough not to have to hock Aaron Donald or Cooper Kupp to get out of trouble is truly extraordinary. This is why he keeps hanging around, that and perhaps he’s got alligator blood in his veins.

Mordo would say the bill eventually comes due and he’d be right. At a certain point, all the restructures will have to be paid off and the blue-chip foundation Snead has built will become past their primes, the mid-round picks stop hitting, too many coaches and executives get plucked by other teams, and the dice rolls hit snake eyes. It happens eventually and perhaps in 2025, the HARD RESET will begin.

But if the Rams win a title before that happens it’ll all be worth it. A Super Bowl buys teams time and if that time is spent restocking the roster enough and balancing the cap sheet enough, once that hard reset happens the Rams won’t toil in obscurity as they did between the Greatest Show on Turf and when McVay was hired.

Les Snead lives in the neon claws of Gamblor and any one of his reckless moves would’ve gotten him fired a long time ago if he wasn’t an adept risk-taker. By hiring the right people, both on the field and in the office, he has the runway to give away 1st-round picks like they were candy to acquire top talent, take on mountains of dead money when an idiotic extension is signed, and take his mistakes and flip them for something better.

There’s the right way to build a team, the wrong way, and the way Les Snead builds a team. From the outside, it might seem baffling but he knows that the house always wins but once in a while, the perfect hand will come along, and then he can bet big and take the house. If he plays his cards right he’ll have more than respect left in the morning.
 

PARAM

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The thing with the bill becoming due that people aren't mentioning is that the cap is on track to keep sky rocketing. So while it's true, it doesn't mean we're going to be in cap trouble any time soon
The 2017 cap was $167 ( and was a 40% increase from 2012)
The 2018 cap was $177.2 ( + $10 mil over 2017)
The 2019 cap was $188.2 ( + $11 mil over 2018)
The 2020 cap was $198.2 ( + $10 mil over 2019)
The 2021 cap is $182.5 ( - 15.7 mil from 2020)

So does that mean the 2022 cap will be + 25 mil over 2021? That would be $207.
 

I like Rams

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The only bad signing was Cooks. Goff and Gurley were signed early bc Watson, mahommes, and Bell were needing contract extensions at the same time. So they signed them before they had to compete with those contracts if both ended up working out.


I liked the Goff selection and still like Goff, passing him up in the draft and waiting the next year doesnt neccesarily mean we draft Watson or Mahommes, but damn, we'd prob have at least 2 SB's if we did.
 

BonifayRam

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Count me as one who believes the Cooper Kupp signing was a bad one with two straight DEEP WR draft classes. The money going to him should have gone towards the OLine, IMO.
Much more now with our new QB than pre-Stafford. Our previous QB badly needed Kupp which forced that extra-large contract to be made. Kupp now with Woods & Jefferson are 3 top duplicate receivers that basically all do their best work up closer to the LOS. They're the same. Thus the receiver unit lacks a proven constant deep threat. Jackson IMO was last gasp to fill this glaring big hole with a way past his prime deep threat.

Most will read into this as a negative towards Kupp.....but that $16 million a year now in the future would have been so much better utilized if it had been invested in several good veteran starting OL'ers.
 
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LOURam85

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Much more now with our new QB than pre-Stafford. Our previous QB badly needed Kupp which forced that extra-large contract to be made. Kupp now with Woods & Jefferson are 3 top duplicate receivers that basically all do their best work up closer to the LOS. They're the same. Thus the receiver unit lacks a proven constant deep threat. Jackson IMO was last gasp to fill this glaring big hole with a way past his prime deep threat.

Most will read into this as a negative towards Kupp.....but that $16 million a year now in the future would have been so much better utilized if it had been invested in several good veteran starting OL'ers.
I don’t care how u put it Kupp isn’t worth 16 million
 

FrantikRam

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The 2017 cap was $167 ( and was a 40% increase from 2012)
The 2018 cap was $177.2 ( + $10 mil over 2017)
The 2019 cap was $188.2 ( + $11 mil over 2018)
The 2020 cap was $198.2 ( + $10 mil over 2019)
The 2021 cap is $182.5 ( - 15.7 mil from 2020)

So does that mean the 2022 cap will be + 25 mil over 2021? That would be $207.


Yep most likely, and might sky rocket to 230 million by 2023
 
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RhodyRams

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CGI_Ram

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While the cap will go up... all teams get the same boost.

A raised cap could increase ability to add or extend players, or bails you out from past sins. The Rams are doing a tad bit of the latter.
 

So Ram

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While the cap will go up... all teams get the same boost.

A raised cap could increase ability to add or extend players, or bails you out from past sins. The Rams are doing a tad bit of the latter.
That Cap Figure was very disappointing to me when it came
out.Last year I was watching games on AMAZON PRIME which a Friend couldn’t watch ? Arizona & SF

Anybody else see that game on Prime ? It’s an AMAZON WORLD

Yeah - that Gurley deal & then that Goff deal. I can keep going back,but That has Been The DEMOFF WAY!!
Talk about a Players Agent GM type.

Interesting Demoff’s role as a RAM franchise guy. He wears a few different outfits.

No disrespect — just the exact opposite. Love being a Rams Fan more than EVER!!
 
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So Ram

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especially after the new $133 billion TV deal kicks in
Really disgusting & unreadable. Huge Sports Fan. Just not a FAN of the direction in Sports.

I can go down memory Lane & know there was a time money wasn’t an issue with me & not getting Ram games because of AL DAVIS was such
BS!!! AL DAVIS was the worst for The NFL & FANS, especially LA FANs.
Well GEORGIA as well SHE doesn’t even let The MLB game even able to play in HER own State.

—Late night RAMbles —

Hated Blackouts if I’m able to say that.
The Rams would not pay there players & Ram Fans would be upset. The 8ers started to get all the Player as an example of the NBA today.

The Rams wouldn’t sell out. I mean RAM FANS aren’t a Bunch of SELLOUTS.
True RAM FANS live there TEAM,but it’s not about money. It was back in the day. STANDING UP 4 Your RIGHTS.

—REALLY?? To watch a GAME you had to GO ?? PAY the PLAYERS you support!!

I’m not for all The money players get . It just means a 25 cent loaf of bread will be $5 & a quality loaf $10.

I guess at some point I will LOVE to be in a HOLLYWOOD PARK STADIUM STAN KRONKE BUILT FOR RAM FANS, where the city of (INGLEWOOD) la will prosper..https://www.ramsondemand.com/threads/hollywood.58352/
 

So Ram

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Point being Les Snead is able & trusted to work his MAGIC for INGLWOOD next to where MAGIC played his best Ball.

AL DAVIS & his SON made VEGAS an Excellent place for The NFL. History is history & remembering back has been enjoyable & hard at times.

BLACKOUTS SUCKED & SUCK !!!

I don’t even get that location thing that was in the Bay Area. Screw your own Fan bases over & over!!

SO CAL fans took it The Hardest.

McVay & Les Snead scored big on a Kid (DJ11) that played at DARBY Park far corner block of SOFI STADIUM. Where kids his age never had a local NFL team.
Talk about a team friendly contract.Think DJ11 as Tavon Austin on Steroids.
 

So Ram

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My guess of just the headlines of Les Snead doubling down. 2 first (1st rd)
Rounds picks & a 3rd for pass blocking.
I guess the time Matthew Stafford finds in the pocket will help a Couple Ram Offensive Lineman look like Pro Bowlers ???

—Can’t believe what McSneads vision on being able to open the offense is going to look like.
BTW— not hearing much about 2 of the most Exciting New RB’s ???
Can Akers is actually going to turn 22. I mean not a exGator,but Emmitt22 at Akers age wasn’t much better.
HENDO will make a few nice catches.Dude is EXPLOSIVE!!! I think his vision & knowledge if improved can be a sleeper.Add Beef will hope,he is a smaller RB though.
 

So Ram

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Yeah - I think the 9ers won ????
Mcvay might have had to call in favor to The Godfather.

Just wondering at what point do you want the 9ers to win ? I just remembered that game was on prime & I liked it.
Made me finally take my smart TVs out of the box after 3 years.The NFL aloud even aloud Bad words & made you consent to it .
 

snackdaddy

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For those who think Les mortgaged the future, what is better? High draft picks and losing seasons for over a decade? Because that was where we were before Les started gambling away the first round picks. Or 4 straight winning seasons and still contending for at least a few more years? Sure, the draft ain't as exciting as it used to be when that was the highlight of our year. But I like the excitement during the season much better.
 

CGI_Ram

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For those who think Les mortgaged the future, what is better? High draft picks and losing seasons for over a decade? Because that was where we were before Les started gambling away the first round picks. Or 4 straight winning seasons and still contending for at least a few more years?
I miss the losing...

 
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