The Los Angeles Rams offense shared some highs and lows in 2019. One of the issues were the constant shuffling of offensive linemen. Injuries were a primary cause, but this also helped the Rams discover some young talents, particularly with the rookies.
That said, there a few contracts to worry about as the Rams enter the 2020 offseason. One of the reasons general manager Les Snead has a huge offseason to look forward to is because he will have some tough decisions to make. One thing to keep in mind is Jared Goff was one of the least sacked quarterback of 2019.
Austin Blythe, 4-year pro, UFA
It’s difficult to place Blythe in any particular category since he was the starting guard in 2018 and in the early part of 2019. He made the switch to center and did much better at the position. While Blythe may not considered the best offensive lineman on the Rams, he certainly was one of the more reliable linemen, especially after the move to center.
There’s always a demand of quality, reliable linemen in the NFL, so expect Blythe to be on many teams’ radar. The Rams will undoubtedly try to retain his services, but if teams value him more as an offensive guard, Blythe’s price tag may rise. Considering Blythe’s age and his versatile contributions, he should be at the top of Snead’s to-sign list.
Brian Allen, 2-year pro, 2-year/$1,573,468 contract
Allen started the year as the starting center. There was plenty of hype surrounding his promotion to starter. The Rams even held him out of the preseason to preserve him for the regular season. Unfortunately, Allen suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That said, the time Allen seen as a starter was not exactly impressive. The Rams offensive line as a whole benefited more when Blythe was the starting center. Sean McVay did have high hopes for Allen, and it’s difficult to give up on him so quickly.
Allen is a sort of fallback plan in case they cannot retain Blythe. Another option is to have Allen as a versatile lineman. McVay encouraged the concept of cross-positional training and it did benefit in 2019. So perhaps Allen could find some playing time as a guard? Either way, Allen is still under contract and can be a decent backup when healthy.
Coleman Shelton, 2-year pro, ERFA
Shelton was added to the 53-man roster after noticing a lack of depth behind Allen after the preseason. Shelton was essentially a body added and didn’t really contribute much to the season. Still, his youth and now familiarity to the offense could be valuable moving forward. It shouldn’t cost the Rams much to keep him. If nothing else, he can compete for a roster spot with undrafted free agents during training camp.
Nate Trewyn, 1-year pro, signed a future contract
Initially, the Rams added Trewyn to the practice squad late in the 2019 season. Expect him to compete for spot on the roster or practice squad in 2020.