L.A. Rams released 'jack-of-all-trades' wide receiver onto open market

The Chiefs might want to check into how Ben Skowronek would work in conjunction with what they already have in house.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs are shopping in the wide receiver aisle these days, a good thing given the needs at the position even at this stage of the offseason. Fortunately there's a new player on the proverbial shelves with the news that the Los Angeles Rams have released a veteran wideout.

NFL reporter Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported on Thursday that the Rams had decided to cut ties with former seventh-round pick Ben Skowronek after three seasons with the team.

The Chiefs might want to check into how Ben Skowronek would work in conjunction with what they already have in house.

Skowronek was coming into his contract year for the Rams and had turned himself into a valuable plyer in that time as a core special teams player and team captain. While his offensive reps were limited, he did put together 39 catches for 376 yards in 2022, so there's room for some offensive volume there.

Should the Chiefs be interested in a player like Skowronek? Presumably he would be a low-cost player who could certainly elevate the floor of the position to serve as a Dave Toub favorite on special teams and someone who's proven already his ability to rise in the ranks and earn the coaches' trust.

That said, we wanted to find out more about Skowronek and why the Rams would waive him in the first place if he was so valuable. We asked our friend and Rams expert Bret Stuter, editor of Ramblin' Fan, to tell us more about Skowronek and the entire situation.

Skowronek seems to be a well-loved player and valuable in multiple ways, so why let him go when he's obviously not expensive?

Bret Stuter: Two reasons. The Rams have tried to exploit his "advantages" in the offense without much success. And the Rams have changed their offensive focus, putting more emphasis back on the tight end position. Skowronek was a WR with TE qualities. The Rams appear to be leaning into 12-personnel sub-package again

The second reason is the Rams love Texas rookie WR Jordan Whittington, and likely released Skowronek to ensure Whittington gets ample snaps in training camp in a similar role.

What's the offensive ceiling here?

Skowronek is not a 1,000-yard receiver, but if he earns a starting role, he can get 600+ yards and 4-6 TDs for a team as a solid WR2 or WR3.

What else should people know about Skowronek?

Skowronek is the poster child of 'Jack of all trades, master of none' in an NFL offense. He was a team captain in 2023. A quality character guy who is tremendously coachable, and willing to do whatever the coaches ask of him.

Are the Rams that loaded to let a guy like that go when keeping him around is so low-cost?

I don't know that I would claim that the Rams are loaded. I would say that the offensive philosophy in 2024 is markedly different from that of the offense in 2021, when he was drafted. With no clear role with the team this season, the Rams' decision to part ways now is an indication that they have either already filled his role with a new player, or will add one in the soon-to-be future.

The Rams' front office has a running history recently of parting ways with players they believe no longer fit their plans. They did so in the middle of 2022 with multiple productive players. They did so again at the end of the 2022 NFL season with veterans, essentially letting Jalen Ramsey pick his next team. By releasing Skowronek now, the Rams are giving Skowronek a fighting chance of signing with a new team in time for a full training camp.