Playing in Hollywood (for most of their history anyway) means the Los Angeles Rams have had some iconic players over the years, but there are quite a few in franchise history who went relatively unnoticed, despite their status.
Here are five players you may have forgotten played for the Rams.
5. Nick Foles, 2015
Foles is an NFL legend because of his incredible play during the 2017 postseason, taking over for starter Carson Wentz late in the regular season and eventually winning Super Bowl MVP. He was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the third round in 2012, and had a fantastic 2013 campaign, throwing 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions in ten starts.
Things didn’t go quite as well in 2014, but the Rams still felt comfortable swapping Sam Bradford and some picks for Foles, and signing him to a two-year $24 million extension. If the Rams could get Foles to play like he did in 2013 again, they’d have their franchise quarterback.
He started 11 games for St. Louis, going 4-7 and tossing only seven touchdowns compared to 10 picks. The Rams traded up to the first overall pick in 2016 to take Jared Goff, and Foles was released three months later.
He spent a year as a backup with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 before returning to Philly; his second stint there earned him a four-year $88 million contract from the Jacksonville Jaguars, although he suffered an injury and lost his starting job to rookie Gardner Minshew.
He was dealt to the Chicago Bears this past offseason, and has yet another chance to start.
4. Terry Crews, 1991
Yes, that Terry Crews. Now a famous television host and movie actor, Crews was drafted in the 11th round by the Rams in 1991, and played in six regular season games as a linebacker. He also spent time with the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Eagles.
He logged only three career tackles, and retired in 1996 to pursue an acting career, a decision that has certainly worked out for him.
3. Wes Welker, 2015
Undrafted in 2004 out of Texas Tech, Welker became an incredibly productive slot receiver until injuries (mostly concussions) forced him to retire.
He did the bulk of his damage with the New England Patriots, catching 672 passes for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns over six seasons. He also played for the San Diego Chargers (his first team), Miami Dolphins, and Denver Broncos, before signing with the Rams in 2015. In eight games, Welker didn’t play much, catching only 13 passes. His concussion issues began in 2013, and had they not happened, he may still be playing today.
The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro was Tom Brady’s favorite target for six years, catching more than 110 passes in five of those. Julian Edelman has replaced Welker pretty well, but the Patriots’ offense just isn’t the same without the 5’9″ dynamo.
2. Jerome Bettis, 1993-1995
“The Bus” struck fear into defensive backs with his 5-11, 252-pound frame to the tune of over 13,600 rushing yards throughout his career. In 10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bettis made four Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015 (although some question whether he deserved that honor).
He is a Pittsburgh legend, but was originally drafted by Los Angeles, selected 10th overall in 1993. He topped 1,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons, but when the Rams changed to a more pass-heavy scheme, Bettis’s usage plummeted, and he was traded to the Steelers, as Bettis decide on Pittsburgh over the Houston Oilers.
It ended up being a good choice.
1. Joe Namath, 1977
Namath was immortalized in NFL history in 1969 when he guaranteed that his New York Jets would defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, then delivered on his promise. Had the Jets lost, Namath would have been ridiculed for a few weeks, but ultimately forgotten. Since he backed up his brash claim, he is a legend, despite not being a great player.
He spent 12 years with the Jets, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 28 TDs in 1967. He retired having thrown significantly more interceptions (220) than touchdowns (173), but is a Hall of Famer nonetheless. He played his final season with the Rams, but at the age of 34 and hampered by injuries, he lost his starting job after just four games.
One of the league’s all-time biggest personalities playing in LA should perhaps be a bigger deal today, but Namath is never remembered as a Ram, and for good reason.