SportsPulse: Antonio Brown is now a Raider. Our NFL insider Mike Jones breaks down how Oakland was able to pull off the massive trade and what’s next for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Free agency threatened to take a serious bite out of the Los Angeles Rams defense, but the NFC champions no longer appear all that susceptible to being raided.
The club announced Sunday night that edge rusher Dante Fowler, who was acquired at last season’s trade deadline, has re-signed. According to ESPN, it’s a one-year deal.
The retention of Fowler and addition of safety Eric Weddle on Friday address two key spots for coordinator Wade Phillips’ unit. Weddle should offset the expected departure of last year’s franchise player, Lamarcus Joyner, leaving general manager Les Snead to mull options on his defensive line with Ndamukong Suh still unsigned.
However the Rams appear to be in good shape, especially after striking a deal with Fowler. His numbers weren’t impressive — four sacks and six quarterback hits in 15 games split between L.A. and Jacksonville in 2018 — but he did produce some key plays along the way, none bigger than the hit he put on Saints quarterback Drew Brees in overtime of the NFC Championship Game. Brees’ wobbly pass wound up in the hands of safety John Johnson, and that interception led to the field goal that sent the Rams to Super Bowl LIII.
AB out: Steelers take a bath in trade
Chief concern: Kansas City parts with longtime pass rusher
Fowler finished with 1½ sacks, four tackles for loss, and three QB hits in the playoffs. The No. 3 pick of the 2015 draft, he’s never lived up to that billing but is only 24 and has time to blossom with a defined role and Phillips’ tutelage.
Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis