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Sean McVay Talks Stafford and Rams Struggles

Before opting to return for a seventh season as the Rams’ head coach, Sean McVay considered a number of uncertainties, both about himself and his club. But, it appears that the health of quarterback Matthew Stafford was not one of them.

Stafford won’t have any restrictions, according to McVay, when the Rams’ offseason practices get underway on April 17.

The 15-year-old Stafford played through right elbow tendonitis, recovered from a concussion, and a spinal bruise that ended his season and kept him out of the final seven games of the Rams’ awful 5-12 campaign.

“It’s been a long time since he’s been healthy through an offseason, where he’s been able to throw,” McVay said at the NFL owners meetings. “I was just with him the other morning where he was in there early working, being able to do the things that are in alignment with preparing for the season.”

Stafford, 35, great receiver Cooper Kupp, top defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and other key players will serve as the foundation for a squad that is not expected to sign any high-profile free agents this offseason.

Kupp, 29, just had ankle surgery that put a stop to the season. Due to an ankle injury, Donald, 31, missed the final six games of the previous season. The traditionally attention-grabbing Rams are experiencing a severe economic downturn while planning for 2024 and drafting players. They are depending on Stafford to get them into the playoffs.

The Rams traded Stafford, the first-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft, to the Detroit Lions in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick in 2021. By tossing 41 touchdown passes for the Rams during the regular season and guiding them to victory in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, Stafford proved that the agreement was worthwhile.

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Darren Waller Traded to Giants

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has made a splash by acquiring an elite weapon for quarterback Daniel Jones. According to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero on Tuesday, Big Blue is finalizing a trade to acquire tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the 100th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft that the Giants received from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Kadarius Toney will be sent to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Giants’ offense was lacking playmakers, so this was a huge acquisition for them. Waller is a mismatch against the linebackers and safeties as a result of his speed and field-stretching ability.

The Raiders have been the catalyst for the 30-year-career-old’s renaissance, as he has produced back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. However, injuries have derailed his past two seasons in Vegas. Waller only saw action in nine games that year, but he still managed to record 28 receptions for 388 yards and three scores.

When fully recovered, Waller is a major threat in the middle of the field, requiring opposing defenses to adjust their strategies accordingly. Even if the TE’s blocking is just average, that will help open up the running game for Saquon Barkley. Waller’s versatility allows for head coach Brian Daboll to get creative with the formations he uses, especially when pairing him with rookie success story Daniel Bellinger in two-TE sets.