Still processing all the insane free agency news from Thursday? We are — and Robert Woods might be, too. The Rams wide receiver saw his reality shift dramatically when Los Angeles signed Allen Robinson Thursday. Woods knows he’s probably on the move, so let’s explore his potential landing spots.
Free Agency Landing Spots: Where will Robert Woods next play?
With Robinson, Cooper Kupp, and Van Jefferson also on the Rams’ depth chart, Woods — who’s expected back from a torn ACL by training camp — is almost assuredly the odd man out in LA. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported late Thursday that Woods “is a prime trade candidate” and that the Rams have already begun fielding calls.
Assuming doctors believe Woods will make a full recovery, he should have a robust market. From 2018-2020, Woods averaged 87 catches, 1,096 yards, and 4.7 touchdowns per season. He will be just 30 when the regular season begins, and his total compensation owed in 2022 is a very reasonable $13.5 million. These should all be appealing factors for the following teams in need of a wide receiver.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have a small championship window with Aaron Rodgers, but they don’t have many weapons after trading Davante Adams to the Raiders Thursday. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a free agent and is drawing interest elsewhere. Allen Lazard is an RFA, although the Packers can match any offer he gets.
In other words, adding Woods makes a TON of sense. Green Bay — with an estimated $22 million in cap space and five 2022 NFL Draft picks in the top 100, including four in the top 60 — has plenty of resources to make a deal.
But why would the Rams agree to it? The Packers, along with the Buccaneers, are the biggest threats to the Rams returning to the Super Bowl. Les Snead should demand a premium in any deal with Brian Gutekunst.
Most everything we said about the Packers applies to the Falcons, assuming they land Deshaun Watson. Atlanta would immediately become a threat to Los Angeles in the NFC — so long as they get Watson some weapons.
Calvin Ridley’s indefinite gambling suspension gave the Falcons some cap relief, but it also gave the Falcons the worst wide receiver room in football. Still, there are some significant factors that would complicate such a deal, beyond any hesitation to trade within the conference.
First, the Falcons are already working overtime simply to free up enough cap space to absorb Watson’s contract. But there are workarounds for that. They could restructure both Watson’s and Woods’ deals, essentially borrowing against the 2023 cap to make 2022 work.
But a bigger worry — what will the Falcons have left to offer the Rams? Any deal for Watson will likely begin at three first-round picks. Players could be involved. Other picks could, too. It would be ironic, however, if the Falcons used the Titans’ second-round pick acquired in the Julio Jones trade to add Woods.
Speaking of Jones and the Titans, Jon Robinson pulled the plug on that failed experiment after just one season. While we credit Robinson for quickly admitting and moving on from his mistake, it still leaves the Titans without a real No. 2 option beyond A.J. Brown.
The Titans are tight against the cap, so any deal for Woods would have to come with contract restructuring. Still, Brown, Woods, and Derrick Henry would be a terrific trio in Tennessee.