The Los Angeles Rams had a disastrous title defense in 2022, as injuries and other issues resulted in them finishing with a dismal 5-12 record and missing the playoffs.
It was a rare example of an NFL team following up a Super Bowl championship with a failure to reach the postseason.
It fueled speculation that perhaps it was the last go-around for this particular group of core Rams players, but in recent days, that speculation seems to be fading.
Head coach Sean McVay announced on Friday that he will return next season, even though many have felt for a while that he was about to step away from his job.
Sean McVay informed the team he is excited to return next season.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 13, 2023
Then came the announcement that L.A. was expected to pick up quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s 2023 bonus option and 2024 salary, therefore keeping him in the fold.
Even better, on Wednesday, defensive tackle Aaron Donald ended speculation that he would leave by announcing in a tweet that he, too, would be back for 2023.
Tell em C Lo yeah I’m playn never said I wasn’t 🤦🏽♂️🤷🏽♂️
— AD_99 (@AaronDonald97) January 18, 2023
That accounts for a good part of the Rams’ aging core.
Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp, assuming he is recovered from the sprained ankle that hampered him this season, is still in his prime, while linebacker Bobby Wagner is under contract through the 2026 season.
The one question mark is cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who showed signs of slippage this year.
The Rams are widely expected to trade him, and perhaps such a trade could recoup some of the draft capital the team lost in trading for Stafford and Von Miller in 2021.
But other than that, a Rams revival in 2023 isn’t totally out of the question.