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Free-Agent Setup: Rams must reconcile long list of potential UFAs

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The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Rams receiver Sammy Watkins scores on a five-yard pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter on November 26, 2017 in Los Angeles. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
Los Angeles Rams receiver Sammy Watkins scores on a five-yard pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter on November 26, 2017 in Los Angeles. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

The Los Angeles Rams have 13 players scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency, with wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Trumaine Johnson and safety Lamarcus Joyner the most notable.

The list also includes starting center John Sullivan, starting outside linebacker Connor Barwin, valuable slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman and rotational defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker.

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Of those, Watkins seems the most likely candidate to play 2018 under the franchise tag distinction. Coming off a down year statistically, Watkins isn't in line for a massive long-term contract, but could better position himself for a bigger payday if he can increase his numbers on a one-year deal.

The Rams will move on from Johnson after their acquisition of Marcus Peters from Kansas City. They would like to get Joyner and Robey-Coleman back and, with more than $40 million in cap space, they have the necessary flexibility to make that happen.

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Unit-by-unit depth chart as of Super Bowl LII. Injured players listed as starters if that was their status when injured.

*Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on injured reserve.

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QUARTERBACKS (A): Starter - Jared Goff. Backups - Sean Mannion. *Brandon Allen.

WIDE RECEIVERS (B-plus): Starters -- Sammy Watkins (UFA), Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods. Backups - Tavon Austin, Josh Reynolds, Pharoh Cooper, Michael Thomas.

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TIGHT ENDS (C): Starter - Tyler Higbee. Backups - Gerald Everett, Derek Carrier (UFA), *Temarrick Hemingway.

RUNNING BACKS (A): Starter - Todd Gurley II. Backups - Malcolm Brown, Lance Dunbar (UFA), Justin Davis, FB *Zach Laskey, *Lenard Tillery.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (B-plus): Starters - LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Rodger Saffold (UFA), C John Sullivan, RG Jamon Brown, RT Robert Havenstein. Backups - T Darrell Williams, T Cornelius Lucas, C/G Austin Blythe, C/G Aaron Neary.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (A): Starters - DT Michael Brockers, RDE Aaron Donald, LDE *Matt Longacre, T *Dominique Easley (UFA). Backups - DE Morgan Fox, NT Ethan Westbrooks (UFA), NT Tyrunn Walker, NT Tanzel Smart.

LINEBACKERS (B): Starters - OLB Connor Barwin (UFA), OLB Robert Quinn, ILB Mark Barron, ILB Alec Ogletree. Backups - OLB Samson Ebukam, ILB Bryce Hager, OLB Garrett Sickels, ILB Cory Littleton, OLB Cameron Lynch.

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DEFENSIVE BACKS (B): Starters - CB Trumaine Johnson (UFA), CB *Kayvon Webster, SS John Johnson, FS Lamarcus Joyner (UFA). Backups - CB Troy Hill, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (UFA), CB Kevin Peterson, CB Isaiah Johnson, S Cody Davis (UFA), S Blake Countess, S *Marqui Christian. Addition: CB Marcus Peters (to be acquired from Chiefs).

SPECIAL TEAMS (A): K *Greg Zuerlein, K Sam Ficken, P Johnny Hekker, PR/KR Pharoh Cooper, LS Jake McQuaide.

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