SAN ANTONIO – Restricted free agent running back Malcolm Brown nearly left Los Angeles for Detroit, but the Rams matched the offer made by the Lions, so Brown will remain in the NFC West.
"Man, I'm excited, man," Brown told KSAT 12 Sports. "You know, going back to Cali, where I'm comfortable with the offense, just being able to get another opportunity to go do what I love, is a blessing in itself. I'm definitely excited for it."
Brown went to Detroit to meet with the Lions and eventually signed their offer sheet for a reported two-year deal worth $3.25 million. The Rams had five days to match, which they did.
"Man, it was a lot going through my head," Brown said when asked about the process. "I feel like I did handle it pretty well. When I was back home for the first month or so, I've been just laying low, because I knew this process was coming up. I was talking to my family and some of my close friends about the entire situation and those people kind of kept me comfortable. It was stressful to think about, but the decision that came about is definitely something that I'm happy with."
Rams head coach Sean McVay has made it clear how important Brown is to the team. Last season, Brown averaged 4.9 yards per carry, and he's become a valuable player on special teams. So, it's no surprise McVay wanted to keep the former Steele High School star .
"I've talked to McVay on the phone about that man, just telling him that I appreciate the opportunity and that I appreciate how much they do value me, that I'm going to work my tail off like I've always done since I was a little kid and try to keep on pushing and keep on contributing to the team as much as I can," Brown said.
Brown suffered a shoulder injury last season in Week 13, cutting his fourth year short. He's healthy and ready to get back on the field and play ball.
"I got cleared right after the Super Bowl," Brown said. "Then I stayed in LA for a couple of weeks just to make sure everything was 110 percent. And those trainers and that staff did a great job with me, progressing me through this whole thing."
With Rams starting running back Todd Gurley reportedly dealing with arthritis in his knees, the Rams made it clear that this offseason they will be taking a different approach to his workload in 2019. That could lead to more carries for Brown and a career season for the 25-year-old.
"Possibly. Me and my agent and the coaches had discussions on that," Brown said. "Like I said, I'm excited for any opportunity that I get. It's probably time to do some things like that to preserve the both of us and to use the both of us to the best of our abilities."
Having Brown back in the mix is a good thing for the Rams' backfield in 2019.