Dante Fowler Jr. and Marcus Peters told McVay in advance that they had other obligations preventing them from attending the start of the offseason program.
“There was a couple guys that just had some different things going on. Dante and Marcus both communicated well in advance, but those are guys that will be here once they get some of those things taken care of that they had to do.”
It’s not a concern at all that Fowler or Peters aren’t attending the start of workouts, as expressed by McVay. It’s not as if they’re holding out, giving the coach notice well in advance of Monday’s initial session.
They weren’t the only players absent from the start of workouts. Restricted free agents Cory Littleton and Troy Hill were also missing, but McVay doesn’t sound overly concerned.
“I think once they come in, you’d like to be able to get those guys to sign. That’s something that we’re navigating through,” McVay said. “Cory was the other guy that, he communicated to us that he had something going on, so we don’t expect anything to be different. Those are guys that we hope to be on our team and looking forward to working with, but as far as anything specific, there’s really no news on that front.”
Six players signed free agent tenders on Monday after arriving to the team’s facility, including Blake Countess and JoJo Natson. Littleton and Hill are the only restricted free agents who haven’t yet signed their tenders.
Mandatory minicamp doesn’t start until June 11, so anyone who has not yet reported to the team still has plenty of time to do so without being fined.
Cory Littleton is among the Los Angeles Rams’ priority free agents this offseason, though on a slightly lower level. Not only is he a step below Ndamukong Suh and Rodger Saffold, but he’s also in a different situation.
Littleton is hitting free agency as a restricted free agent, making it far easier for the Rams to keep him. He’s not free to negotiate deals with other teams on the open market, which favors Los Angeles.
Littleton was thrust into a starting role after the Rams traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants and while he wasn’t without flaws, he did prove to be an upgrade over Ogletree. Where Littleton struggled was against the run, playing a role in the Rams defense allowing 5.1 yards per carry in the regular season – the highest rate in the NFL.
He’s on the slight side when it comes to inside linebackers, but his range allows him to roam sideline to sideline and make plays in the passing game. Littleton was 11th among linebackers this past season in coverage grade from PFF, which shows he was reliable against the pass.
The Los Angeles Rams had until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to hand out tenders to their restricted free agents, but they took care of that business one day in advance. The team announced on Tuesday that it has tendered nine restricted and exclusive rights free agents, including Cory Littleton.
Littleton was the only player given a tender higher than the original-round designation, receiving a second-round tender. That tentatively keeps Littleton in Los Angeles for one more year, but it doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back in 2019.
He can negotiate contracts with other teams and if he signs an offer sheet, the Rams have the opportunity to match it. If they opt not to, the team that signs him will have to give the Rams a second-round pick in return for Littleton.
Additionally, Blake Countess, Malcolm Brown and Troy Hill all received original-round tenders as restricted free agents. The Rams won’t get any compensation for Hill or Brown if they leave, since they were undrafted free agents. But Countess would net the Rams a sixth-rounder because that’s where he was drafted.
According to OverTheCap.com, a second-round tender is worth about $3.1 million, while the original-round tender pays $2 million for 2019.
As for the exclusive rights free agents, the Rams tendered JoJo Natson, KhaDarel Hodge, Dominique Hatfield, Morgan Fox and Kevin Peterson. Garrett Sickles was the only player not to get tendered, so he’ll become a free agent on Wednesday.