Rams re-sign Joe Noteboom, heir apparent to Andrew Whitworth – Daily Breeze
The Rams’ Super Bowl triumph last season was a champagne celebration of superstar influence in glamorous positions.
Their bid for a championship repeat began Monday with a beer mug toast to the importance of workhorses on the offensive line.
On the first day of NFL free agent activity, the Rams announced the re-signings of tackle Joe Noteboom in the morning and center Brian Allen and inside lineman Coleman Shelton in the afternoon.
They’re not household names across the league, unlike wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and outside linebacker Von Miller, the best-known members of the Rams’ free agent class.
But keeping Noteboom, Allen and Shelton out of the free agent market could prevent a sharp drop on an offensive line ranked seventh in the league by Pro Football Focus in 2021, even if left tackle Andrew Whitworth retires and right guard Austin Corbett ends up signing elsewhere.
The Rams announced they had reached an agreement with Noteboom on a three-year contract, which would include $25 million guaranteed, a base value of $40 million and an additional $47.5 million in available incentives.
The deal confirms Noteboom, a 26-year-old former TCU third-round draft pick, as the heir apparent at left tackle whenever Whitworth, 40, announces his retirement.
This rewards Noteboom for his patience as he supported Whitworth and played various roles during his first four years in Los Angeles.
Tackle became Noteboom’s calling after starting as a left guard for six games before a knee injury in 2019.
As a left tackle understudy, Noteboom started all seven games Whitworth missed with a knee injury in the 2020 season and both games Whitworth missed in their Super Bowl-winning season.
The 6-foot-5, 321-pound also replaced right tackle Rob Havenstein for one game in 2021 and served as an extra tackle when coach Sean McVay used a six-man line for some running plays during the resumption of the offensive after a mid-season attacking slump.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, one of the skill position additions that led the Rams to their 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, made it clear he was happy Noteboom stepped in and blocked on his blindside in the playoffs after Whitworth was injured in the win over the Arizona Cardinals and missed the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“If it’s Joe, then I have great faith in Joe,” Stafford said Jan. 19. “He’s played well in other games where he’s been an extra tackle for us sometimes. So he’s got a lot of experience. I trust him as much as anyone else just to go out there. and play.He’s as stable of a guy as you can be around.
Noteboom, who made it clear that he would be looking for a team that would give him the chance to start, seems to have found it without going anywhere.
Later Monday, the Rams announced they had signed Allen to a three-year contract, worth $24 million, and Shelton to a two-year contract, the value of which has yet to be disclosed. .
Allen, 26, who was eligible for unrestricted free agency, is now locked down at center a year after his footballing future was thrown into doubt due to a knee injury in 2019 that cost him a season and half.
Shelton, also 26, who could have become a restricted free agent, started two games at center when Allen was injured last season and also played guard.
Shelton could get the first crack at the right guard if Corbett leaves as an unrestricted free agent.
Wednesday is the first day NFL teams can officially sign and trade players from other teams. But Monday was the first day they could negotiate with free agents from other teams. As always, the day was filled with reports of almost formally concluded deals.
The Rams’ only free agent loss on Monday was nose tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, who moved down the SoFi Stadium tunnel to the Chargers on a three-year contract worth an estimated $24 million.
Joseph-Day became unnecessary for the Rams after his Week 7 pectoral injury opened the door for Greg Gaines to take the job.
The Rams’ other unrestricted free agents include Corbett, Beckham, Miller and cornerback Darious Williams.
If Whitworth retires, as expected since winning his first Super Bowl in February, it will save the Rams $16 million as they strive to drop below the NFL’s salary cap. here is Wednesday’s deadline, a process that could require renegotiating contracts and removing players.
The Rams were $22.9 million over the cap of $208.2 million on Monday, according to overthecap.com, and how far below they go will determine how much they can spend to add stars.
For a day, guarding a few offensive linemen seemed like good work.