It’s never easy to admit it, and sometimes teams will instead remain in denial and never actually take the necessary actions involved. But everybody needs to rebuild once in a while. Whether or not they know it, these four teams would be better off doing exactly that very soon, if not right now.
Los Angeles Rams
Paying Jared Goff was a mistake. He was a train wreck last year and appears to be in regression. Paying Todd Gurley was a mistake. He’s already off the roster, but they’re paying him $17.3 million to play for another team in the same conference. Acquiring Jalen Ramsey was far too bold. He cost them two first-round picks, and his contributions can only accomplish so much without any help beyond Aaron Donald on defense.
The Rams spent so much on all of the guys just mentioned that they had nothing left over to keep the rest of their talent on either side of the ball. Now, they look like the worst team in the NFC West. They’re stuck with Goff for a while and shouldn’t part with Donald because he’s a rockstar, but they should try to quickly dismantle and rebuild the rest of the roster.
They might feel they have to keep pushing because Khalil Mack’s prime might be winding down and they’re paying him multiple arms and legs, but they’re not good enough to contend with this roster, which means they’re wasting that prime anyway. Instead of clinging to something unrealistic, the Bears should forget about Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, get a large return for Mack from somebody who might be willing to split his dead-cap money, and then go ham on the next couple of drafts.
General manager Ryan Pace won’t do that because his job probably depends on at least one playoff run with this version of the team, but that’s far-fetched considering how far they’ve fallen the last 18 months.
It appears they realize that they have to do it. After all, they have traded Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Nick Foles in the last eight months. But they also strangely splurged on so-so linebacker Joe Schobert, and they’re driving a hard bargain for Yannick Ngakoue.
I guess riding with Gardner Minshew II at quarterback is a sign they’re not too serious about contending in 2020, but the full-on tank would have been a better approach. The Jags have completely hemorrhaged talent the last couple of years. It’s amazing how fast they went from top 10 to bottom 10.
This has already started. Yeah, they’re clinging to something with Teddy Bridgewater, Christian McCaffrey, and D.J. Moore on offense, but the Panthers have already begun to rebuild on the fly.
They shouldn’t have paid McCaffrey because running backs aren’t worth big money these days, but the commitment to Bridgewater won’t kill them, and they have smartly loaded up on young defensive players in order to address a multitude of crushing losses on that side of the ball. They just became the first team in modern NFL history to use all of their draft picks on defensive players.