Rams win in NFC Championship is good for every NFL player says Colin Cowherd

“The NFL is a copycat league.”

Sorry, Bill Gates, but if there was a dollar given to each football fan every time a pundit used this phrase there would be a tight running for Richest Person in the World amongst millions of people.

However, while the saying is a massive cliché, it can still carry a very valid argument and this Los Angeles Rams team is attempting to prove it right once again.

During the offseason, the Rams invested heavily into the free agent market, bolstering their roster on both sides of the ball in key positions.

After trading for Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, they continued to bolster the secondary by signing Sam Shields and Nickell Robey-Coleman to one and three-year deals, respectively. Then the franchise realized the best way to continue the success of their All-Pro running back and third-year quarterback would be to bring back the veteran signal caller on the offensive line, inking center John Sullivan to a two-year contract.

“While we’re bulking up our line,” Rams brass must have thought to themselves, “we may as well do the same on the defensive side.”

Cue March 26, when the Rams brought Ndamukong Suh in on a one-year, $14 million deal to take some relief off AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

Throw in some more extensions given to top-talent before even hitting the market– namely Todd Gurley’s four-year, $60 million; Donald’s six-year, $135 million; and recently traded for Brandin Cooks‘ five-year, $81 million signings– and Los Angeles was ready to attack the season in pursuit of its second Super Bowl title, all through the unconventional wisdom that building a team through free agency actually works.

“You have to root for the Rams if you’re a player,” Colin Cowherd said Wednesday on The Herd. “Teams will move off you. Be ready to move off them.”

Cowherd stated the Philadelphia Eagles‘ success last season on the way to a Super Bowl LII title created a template for how to construct a team through free agency and the Rams followed it to a T.

The Eagles found a steal in wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, dishing the former Pro Bowler a one-year, $9.5 million that ended up paying multitudes in dividends after Jeffery was a key target for Nick Foles on their way to lifting the Lombardi. Speaking of Foles, the Birds brought in the veteran on a two-year deal during the offseason to back up Carson Wentz. A Super Bowl MVP title later… yeah, seems like a good signing.

While Cowherd argues the New England Patriots dominance since the turn of the century has been bad for players because of their success as a “system team” that uses depth and low-paid players to thrive, this new age of big-time signings succeeding is changing the economics of the game.

“Philadelphia last year went big into free agency and beat the system,” Cowherd proclaimed. “If the Rams win, March and April free agency will be absolutely huge. You have to root for your own economics.”

It wasn’t only in the offseason the Rams struck gold in free agency.

Los Angeles heads into the NFC Championship against the New Orleans Saints riding the coattails of one of the most dominate rushing attacks in the game– consisting of a player that wasn’t even on the team in mid-December.

C.J. Anderson, who was cut by two different teams this season alone, was signed on December 18 to fill in while Gurley rehabilitated a knee problem.

In the three games he’s played in for the Rams, Anderson has rushed for 422 yards and four touchdowns on a staggering 6.39 yds/rush average. For reference, the NFL’s leader in yds/rush over the entire 2018 season was Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones, who averaged 5.5 yds. In 2017, when Todd Gurley finished second in MVP voting, he only averaged 4.68.

Safe to say the third time is the charm for Anderson.

So while Philadelphia may have provided the springboard for LA to follow as a “copycat,” this team is far from a roster that’s been constructed before.