The Rams’ offense is about to enter a stage of flux. Les Snead is staring down the barrel at a lot of guys who are going to be up for new contracts soon. Todd Gurley is there for the long term but who knows what he’s going to look like.
Jared Goff looks like he’s the franchise guy going forward but he can still play himself out of it while Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds enter the final year in their rookie deals next year. Normally, that would cause fans to sound the alarm but there’s a reason to exhale. Snead did a lot of smart things last year but the most under the radar thing was locking down offensive tackle Rob Havenstein. Rob Havenstein is the reason why the Rams will be able to weather whatever storm may or may not be on the horizon.
That sounds like a blatant case of homerism but it’s not (pinky promise) because after this season he’s the veteran anchor on that line. The sun is soon to set on Andrew Whitworth‘s time in the NFL and that means the kingdom in the trenches goes to Rob Havenstein. The rest of the line are all guys that haven’t been in the league for more than three years. When Whitworth signed his three-year $33 million dollar deal to come to the Rams he made it clear that while he’s chasing a ring he was going to also impart his wisdom to the other guys on the line. He joined newly hired coach Aaron Kromer to revamp a line that for a decade was a bigger disaster than Annapurna.
Havenstein was the biggest beneficiary of this. He was drafted in round two of the 2015 draft and along with Gurley made the all-rookie team. Having Whitworth and Kromer around caused him to truly become a key cog in the Rams now explosive offense. He has started all 59 games of his career and has signed a four-year extension that keeps him in LA through 2022. This means the 27-year-old tackle will be around until he’s 32 so the Rams have him for at least the majority of his prime. He not only has the chance to become one of the premier tackles in the league but can become the Whitworth figure for the Rams super young offensive line.
The Rams lost veteran guard Rodger Saffold to the Titans this offseason. It made sense since the Titans needed him more than the Rams do. After all, Marcus Mariota is in a contract year and needs to be wrapped in bubble wrap like Jake Berman from “Little Giants”.
Anyway, with Saffold gone that leaves Rob Havenstein as the elder statesman. The Rams opted not to find another vet to replace Saffold and are instead relying on the young guys Snead has drafted the last two years. Austin Blythe, Brian Allen, and Joe Noteboom are the future of this line or as Floyd Gondolli would say “they’re the real people in the world”.
Fortunately, they get one more year with Kromer, Whitworth, and Havenstein but after that, it’s all on them. Havenstein needs to continue to develop, and, knock on wood, stay healthy if the Rams are to thrive next year and beyond.
Gurley’s knees will be a story until the end of his career, Goff will either be the QB or he won’t (most likely yes), and the receiving corps will revolve around Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. All of that uncertainty means that having a guy like Rob Havenstein is essential and luckily he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.