According to multiple reports, the Los Angeles Rams have begun receiving calls regarding the availability of wide receiver Robert Woods via trade. The Rams shockingly signed former Chicago Bears receiver Allen Robinson to a three-year deal worth $46.5 million on Thursday. The Rams allegedly maintain interest in re-signing Odell Beckham Jr. despite signing Robinson.
Should Beckham Jr. remain in Los Angeles, it would almost guarantee that Woods gets traded, as the Rams would have an unnecessary surplus at the receiver position, one that still includes Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell.
The soon-to-be-30-year-old Woods suffered a torn ACL in a mid-November practice that unfortunately cost him the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. Woods should be healthy for the beginning of the 2022 campaign, but acquiring him does carry a buyer beware warning label. When healthy, Woods remains one of the most versatile and effective receivers in football. Woods has enjoyed two 1,000-plus-yard campaigns in Los Angeles while having a positive impact as a pass-catcher and blocker.
Given Woods’ advancing age and season-ending injury, he could be available for a day-three draft pick. That would make him a steal. We’ve swiftly identified three teams that should have an interest in acquiring Woods.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers sent shockwaves around the league by trading superstar receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday evening in exchange for first-and-second round draft selections in 2022. Adams swiftly signed a five-year, $141.25 million extension that made him the richest receiver in NFL history.
Adams’ departure leaves a gaping hole throughout Green Bay’s pass-catching department. As things stand, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are the starting receivers in their offense. The offseason is obviously still young and this is likely to change, but it reflects the sense of urgency general manager Brian Gutekunst must attack the position with. Marquez Valdes-Scantling remains an unrestricted free agent and Clemson’s Amari Rodgers has yet to get on the field with any sort of consistency. The Packers now own two-first selections in April, which represents another opportunity to address their receiver corps.
The Adams trade created a plethora of cap space for the Packers, who can now afford to aggressively pursue replacements. The Packers currently possess a hair north of $22 million in financial freedom, per Spotrac. A large chunk of that will undeniably be used to sign or acquire a receiver. Aaron Rodgers agreed to return to the Packers via a historic four-year extension, and Gutekunst must now extend their Super Bowl window by appropriately addressing the receiver position in the shocking wake of the Adams deal. Gutekunst would likely have to overpay, as the Rams may be hesitant to trade Woods within the NFC.
The Titans have been surprisingly quiet throughout the early portion of the offseason as general manager Jon Robinson has largely focused on retaining his own free agents (they re-signed Harold Landry and Ben Jones) while the rest of the AFC has loaded up on talented quarterbacks, wide receivers, EDGE defenders and cornerbacks. The Titans also parted ways with Julio Jones in a cap-clearing move that leaves the roster begging for at least two additions at the receiver position.
Robinson has never been afraid to acquire a player that carries a concerning injury like Woods does. Robinson aggressively traded for Jones last offseason despite his hamstring woes. Tennessee drafted Jeffery Simmons and Caleb Farley in the first round of recent drafts despite both prospects nursing serious injuries throughout the pre-draft process. Despite the Jones failure, Robinson will remain aggressive as he steadfastly attempts to improve the Titans.
Woods initially arrived in Los Angeles in 2017 when Matt LaFleur was the offensive coordinator. LaFleur would then become the Titans’ play-caller and coordinator in 2018, and Tennessee still runs that same system despite now being two offensive coordinators removed from LaFleur (Arthur Smith and Todd Downing). Woods has already thrived in Tennessee’s system, making him a natural fit for their scheme. The Titans also prioritize receivers that could block in the running game due to the presence of Derrick Henry in their backfield, and Woods happens to be one of the best blocking receivers in football. This fit makes sense.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Woods feels like a Bill Belichick player. A former second-round draft pick out of USC, Woods has overachieved throughout his NFL career when compared to his initial pro projection. A try-hard that runs excellent, technician-like routes and blocks hard for his teammates, Belichick holds the utmost appreciation for unselfish players such as Woods.
The Patriots have experienced a confusing offseason thus far, and they’ve done nothing to improve the environment around rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Jones experienced a solid debutant campaign all things considered, but the Patriots need to surround him with more playmakers in the passing game.
As a prospect at Alabama, Jones did his best work by quickly reading and processing coverages and taking what the defense gave him. His rookie season welcomed more of the same. Jones’ efficiency and play-style should make Woods a natural target. Woods has consistently played his best football by quickly getting open underneath the coverage due to various release packages and a high understanding of how cornerbacks are trying to defend him. Woods’ ability to swiftly get open in the short to intermediate areas meshes well with Jones’ preference to get the football out in a timely manner.
Woods makes a quarterback’s life simpler and more straightforward, and Jones could benefit from more of those types of players.