THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams re-signed defensive lineman Marquise Copeland on Monday, temporarily halting their wholesale roster exodus after the team's first losing season in six years.
The Rams didn't announce the terms of the deal for Copeland. Los Angeles didn't tender Copeland as a restricted free agent earlier this month, which means his new deal likely is worth less than that price tag of roughly $3 million.
Copeland spent most of his first 2 1/2 NFL seasons on the Rams' practice squad before joining the active roster in November 2021. He has played in 25 games with nine starts.
He got extensive playing time last season with Aaron Donald sidelined by injury, and he finished with 31 tackles and one sack. Copeland is likely to get extensive playing time again this season with the departure of starter Greg Gaines for Tampa Bay and the probable departure of free-agent starter A'Shawn Robinson.
Copeland is just the second free agent to re-sign this offseason with the Rams, whose roster has been badly depleted while the club attempts to reset its payroll after years of high-profile acquisitions. Offensive lineman Coleman Shelton also re-signed with Los Angeles on a modest deal.
The Rams have lost well over a dozen key contributors to their Super Bowl championship team and last season's 5-12 squad. Los Angeles’ top six defenders by snap count will not return next season for coach Sean McVay.
Jalen Ramsey left in a trade with Miami, while the free-agent departures and releases include starting linebackers Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd, starting safeties Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp, cornerback David Long Jr., starting offensive guard David Edwards, kicker Matt Gay, punter Riley Dixon, kick returner Brandon Powell, long snapper Matthew Orzech and quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Despite the massive roster overhaul, chief operating officer Kevin Demoff told their season ticket holders in a letter that the Rams expect to contend for the NFC West title next season and “make a run” toward the Super Bowl.
“We always knew that there would be a time when we would have to pull back on our typical approach to help continue our sustained run of success,” Demoff wrote, adding that the Rams “have taken all of our salary cap pain in 2023 and project to have more than $60 million in space in 2024."