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In the Los Angeles Rams quest to RUN IT BACK, their biggest priority is not retaining Von Miller and or pursuing Bobby Wagner, but solidifying their offensive line. Andrew Whitworth is possibly retiring while Austin Corbett and Brian Allen are free agents. The offensive line is in a state of flux and the Rams don’t have the cap flexibility to either re-sign everyone or go after one of the big fish in free agency.

The Rams made a huge move in building the future of their offensive line by re-signing fourth-year tackle Joe Noteboom to a three-year extension. Noteboom emerged as a possible successor to Whitworth while the vet missed a few games due to Covid. Having Noteboom gives Matthew Stafford a young tackle he’s had the chance to develop chemistry with while the Rams rebuild the interior of the line.

Joe Noteboom signed a three-year $40 million deal, up to $47.5 million max, with $25 million guaranteed. Noteboom has gotten better since being drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft. He became a started his rookie season before tearing his ACL and MCL. Entering the 2020 season, Noteboom started at guard before missing time with a calf injury and the concern with him going forward was that he was injury-prone. However, he really emerged as a future cornerstone of the line both as an extra blocker following the Rams’ November swoon and when he had to fill in the starting tackle spot in Whitworth’s absence. He played a total of 174 snaps and gave one sack and no penalties. If Whitworth decides he isn’t ready to hang it up yet, Noteboom could also fill in on the interior of the line as the Rams are most likely losing Austin Corbett. The Rams are likely to use multiple picks to restock their line and Noteboom could step in should any of their rookies not be ready for primetime.

His deal is similar to Rob Havenstein‘s extension in that it’s a big pay raise while also not resetting the tackle market. The Rams are making a smart investment as it’s only a three-year deal which is perhaps how long Matthew Stafford remains with the team. If he does become the guy, they can rebuild the team knowing whoever takes over for Stafford has at least one solid tackle. If he doesn’t get any better they aren’t locked into him long-term.

The biggest concern for Noteboom is that he’s missed time every one of his seasons with a major injury. He was unavailable for part of the Rams’ Super Bowl run (started against Tampa Bay) due to a torn pec, he’s torn his MCL/ACL, and while the calf injury in 2020 wasn’t major he did miss several weeks. Perhaps, these were all fluke injuries and he bounced back from each injury without looking like he’s missed a step and a pec injury isn’t something that would hinder him going forward. He might have just had bad luck in that respect but it is something to monitor as Stafford is going to need all the protection he can get.

One way or another, the Rams’ offensive line is going to look dramatically different than it did in 2021. If the playoffs were any indication, the Rams are going to prioritize building a line that can run block as their run blocking was abysmal all playoffs, especially in the Super Bowl. Having Joe Noteboom and Rob Havenstein on the ends at least provides a little bit of continuity while the Rams find ways to protect Stafford and prop open their championship window as long as possible. If Noteboom can continue his upswing, the Rams once again found and developed a solid starter without breaking the bank to do so.

Joseph Noteboom Signs A 3-Year Extension With The Los Angeles Rams. Photo Credit: Brevin Townsell | LA Rams

Joseph Noteboom Signs A 3-Year Extension With The Los Angeles Rams. Photo Credit: Brevin Townsell | LA Rams

Chauncey Telese

Author Chauncey Telese

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