Rams should consider trading ex-3rd rounder, analyst says


Sean McVay speaks to reporters on June 8, 2022 in Thousand Oaks.

Remember when the Los Angeles Rams made a huge, bold call when they traded for former Super Bowl winner Sony Michel to bolster the backfield?

There’s an NFL analyst who thinks the Super Bowl champions should do the opposite.

Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report wrote his list of a player every NFL team should trade before the start of the 2022 season. Interestingly, he got the Rams switched in the backfield nearly a year after Michel moved.

Analyst calls for old 3rd round to be traded

Sobleski’s trade proposition: Fire former third-rounder Darrell Henderson Jr..

“Hendo” was supposed to be the point guard after Cam Akers’ devastating Achilles tear. Still, the Rams needed depth, and with Henderson’s own injury history, the team felt compelled to lure Michel away from the New England Patriots.

But with Akers healthy and new changes to the RB depth chart, Sobleski and B/R indicate the Rams are making one more move.

“Akers’ explosiveness wasn’t quite there, but he carried the ball 67 times during the playoffs. No other Rams player had even half that number,” Sobleski wrote. During Akers’ absence, Sony Michel, not Darrell Henderson Jr., became Los Angeles’ top rusher at 845 yards, though Henderson missed five regular-season contests with an MCL sprain.

Which led the B/R columnist to deliver the idea that the Rams would soon move on from “Hendo.”

“Obviously Akers is the Rams’ return forward, while Henderson is a free agent after this season,” Sobleski said.

Henderson is entering the final season of the rookie contract he signed in 2019 — which was a four-year, $4,212,005 contract. By spotracHenderson is expected to earn $1,060,601 for his 2022 base salary before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

There will be those who believe that sending Henderson to another franchise will provide some breathing room. As it stands, the Rams also pulled off something similar with Kenny Young setting up for a strong 2021 before being traded to the Denver Broncos. This decision finally paved the way for Von Miller to join us before the NFL trade deadline.

But leaving Henderson won’t be as easy as some think.

‘Hendo’ posts career-best results

Here’s the leverage on why the Rams may consider keeping “Hendo.”

For starters, there will always be that Akers-related injury issue, unfortunately. It’s considering how he plays a position where defenders will go after the knees with their helmet and shoulder pads. Additionally, backup Jake Funk has his own injury history (hamstring which sidelined him for the rest of 2021, suffered two ACL injuries in college). Even 2022 draft pick Kyren Williams has broken his foot, but should be ready to report to UC Irvine on July 23. Williams was described by B/R as “arguably the best third try/receiver in this year’s draft class.”

But it’s not just the IR roster that could persuade the Rams to keep Henderson for camp.

Although he didn’t establish himself as the top rusher due to his own MCL illness, Henderson still delivered the following career-best numbers by reference Pro Football:

Gate: Her 149 litters were an improvement over her 138 in 2020.

Reception of the game: Henderson caught 29 passes for 176 yards and scored 3 times – all career highs.

Ground course: “Hendo” hit 688 yards, also a new best total.

And in the Super Bowl, he provided these kinds of pieces that kept readers alive:

You really have to wonder what Henderson would be worth if a trade happened. These are likely mid-range picks or another running back that could bring depth to the ‘Rams House’.

Henderson may not have put up the most astronomical numbers of his NFL career yet. And his time with the Rams may be numbered. But due to past injury issues in the RB room and what he’s done in terms of truncated availability, there’s still a belief that he’ll hang on to the champions throughout camp.

Garland K. Long