Rams Free Agency: Sign Broncos ‘Mauler’ OL Dalton Risner?

The Los Angeles Rams have been dubbed the “best fit” for Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner … but should they sign him?

The last time Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner stepped foot inside the Los Angeles Rams‘ SoFi Stadium, he made headlines for the wrong reason.

Risner was caught having a heated exchange with Broncos backup quarterback Brett Rypien in the midst of a Christmas Day blowout, with the Rams eventually winning 51-14.

But now, with Risner a free agent and the Rams needing help on the offensive line, there’s a chance the two could be seeing a lot more of one another – and hopefully on happier terms.

According to ESPN, the Rams are the “best fit” for Risner, who was rated as the No. 45 free agent available …

“The Rams are cash-strapped, but they would be wise to make some room for Risner to bolster the interior of the offensive line. He’s a close-quarters mauler at left guard who displays a strong and rugged play-style.

Risner ranked 10th in the league in run block win rate this past season among guards (74.4%) and he can set an anchor in pass pro. Los Angeles must fix their offensive line issues after giving up 59 sacks (third most).” – Matthew Bowen

Risner, who will turn 28 over the summer, has played in and started 62 of a possible 66 games since the Broncos selected him during the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Kansas State product is projected to earn a four-year, $38.2 million contract this offseason, netting $9.5 million annually, per Spotrac. As things stand, this would put Risner at No. 11 among the highest-paid guards.

But will the Rams be willing to pay the price?

The first step will be creating enough cap space to do so, as Los Angeles currently sits $14 million over budget, according to Over The Cap. There are multiple avenues to get on the right side of the line, and the Rams will, at some point, be on that side, but they’ll have to create enough to sign a draft class and fill out a roster.

As ESPN alluded to, Los Angeles desperately needs to improve its offensive line, though part of last year’s struggles arose due to injuries.

Further, starting left guard David Edwards and his backup, Matt Skura, are both free agents, leaving the depth chart with only 2020 seventh-round pick Tremayne Anchrum, who suffered a fractured fibula in Week 2.

As such, there is a need for Risner – but is there financial space?

This might be a case of right place wrong time, but the official answer is set to come within the next month.

You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft

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