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Signing Nick Perry would be worth the risk for Rams...

March 14, 2019 09:36AM
Signing Nick Perry would be worth the risk for Rams

Cameron DaSilvaMarch 13, 2019 1:51 pm ET

[theramswire.usatoday.com]

The Los Angeles Rams began to address arguably their biggest need at outside linebacker by re-signing Dante Fowler Jr. to a one-year deal. That won’t solve the issues at outside linebacker, but it’s certainly a start.

With limited cap room to play with, the Rams likely won’t go after the top pass rushers left on the market, but one player who was released this week should intrigue Los Angeles. Nick Perry was cut by the Packers after Green Bay added Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith, making him free to sign with a team at any time.

There are major concerns that come with signing Perry, primarily related to his durability. He’s never played 16 games in a season, has missed 11 games the last two years and is seemingly always nicked up.

His production hasn’t matched the lucrative contract he signed with the Packers two years ago, landing a five-year deal worth $60 million. Since then, he’s only had 8.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss, which is fewer than he posted in 2016 alone.

Yet, despite those risks, he’d be a worthwhile addition for the Rams. As bad as troubling as those issues are, they also lower his price. He’ll likely be looking for a short-term deal, potentially for just one season so he can prove his worth. If Los Angeles can get him for a one-year deal worth around $4-5 million, it’d be a smart move.

He has plenty of experience rushing the passer as a stand-up outside linebacker, playing the position for all seven years with the Packers. He posted 11 sacks in 14 games during the 2016 season, which led Green Bay to extend him the following March.

That was really his only impressive season in the NFL, but plenty of that has a lot to do with two things: not being a true starter and battling injuries. Perry has started just 48 of the 81 games he’s played, and has only appeared in 81 of a possible 112 games – averaging 4.4 games missed per season.

The Rams can structure the contract to include playing time incentives to guard against injury, protecting themselves from having to pay him a significant amount of money, only to see him miss eight games. this would be a low-risk, high-reward signing for a team in desperate need of pass-rush help on the edge.

Perry would compete with Samson Ebukam and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo for a starting job opposite Fowler, immediately becoming a rotational player at the very least. The best-case scenario is he recaptures some of the magic he found in 2016 when he was a force for the Packers, hitting the quarterback 16 times with 12 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.

That season, he earned an above-average grade of 82.2, which ranked 19th among all edge defenders. And he’s stout against the run, too, earning an 84.1 grade in that department with 37 defensive stops – ninth-most for an edge defender.

The Rams may not be able to afford Justin Houston or Shaquil Barrett or Ziggy Ansah, but Perry is an enticing option who won’t count against the compensatory pick formula.
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  Signing Nick Perry would be worth the risk for Rams...

Rams43106March 14, 2019 09:36AM