Free Agency Preview: Los Angeles Rams’ offensive line could use a little help

Photo: Gregory Vasil / For Hearst Connecticut Media

The Los Angeles Rams’ offensive line improved dramatically in 2017 after acquiring  offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. On average, the Rams have the oldest line in the NFL, despite the massive improvement. General manager Les Snead will likely seek to add some protection for Jared Goff while attempting to get younger. Here are five potential free agents the Rams should consider:

1. Andrew Norwell – LG  (Carolina Panthers)

Going from an undrafted free agent to a staple in the Carolina offensive line, Norwell is one of the best guards available in free agency. Norwell played in every game for the Panthers in the last two seasons and was named an All-Pro last season. Norwell will come at a cost, as Pro Football Focus has Norwell listed as the third-best guard in the NFL. Norwell’s asking price expects to top an average of $12 million per year, according to Joel Cory of CBSsports.com.

2. Nate Solder – T  (New England Patriots)

The Rams could attempt to upgrade at offensive tackle and replace Rob Havenstein as a starter. The Rams will also need to find a potential replacement for Whitworth at some point as well. The New England Patriots have a history of not overpaying for players, and Solder is no exception. Pro Football Focus ranked him 32nd overall at tackle. The 30-year-old Solder doesn’t fit the youth movement for the Rams’ front office, but his veteran prowess is worth a look.

3. Cameron Fleming T (New England Patriots)

At 25, Fleming may be the ideal player for the Rams to pursue in free agency at tackle. Fleming is ranked the 24th best tackle in the NFL. Playing under Bill Belichick’s offensive scheme helped evolve the five-year veteran into a starting offensive tackle for a perennial Super Bowl contender. The Patriots may be willing to re-sign Fleming, so the Rams will need to fork over some dough for Fleming’s services.

4. Ryan Jensen C (Baltimore Ravens)

According to Pro Football Focus, Jensen and Johns Sullivan are the top centers among free agents. Jensen scored an 84.6 at center, which puts him at 9th best in the NFL. At age 26, Jensen could provide longevity at the position for the Rams. The front office may have to conduct a bidding war for his services, but his efficiency combined with his youth may be worth it.

5. John Sullivan C (Los Angeles Rams)

The free agency class at center is razor-thin this offseason, and the Rams could opt to bring back the 11-year veteran. Sullivan, 32, is familiar with McVay’s offensive scheme, which provides an added incentive. Sullivan made approximately $1 million in 2017, and may command a higher salary in 2018.

Sources: John Breech, cbssports.com, Kristen Lago, therams.com, Cameron DaSilva, Ramswire.com, profootballfocus.com

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