LA Rams re-sign versatile IOL Austin Blythe to one-year deal

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams have re-signed versatile interior offensive lineman Austin Blythe to a one-year deal

The biggest moves in NFL Free Agency are not always the best moves. Nor are the fastest moves. In fact, sometimes the best moves are the ones few discuss, never make the national headline, and subtlely slide into existence.  That type of no fanfare move happened today as the LA Rams announce that the team has agreed to terms with the very versatile interior offensive lineman Austin Blythe.

There is a lot to like about this signing, or re-signing.  Blythe is of more value to the Rams organization than to any other NFL team. And he has played at all three interior offensive line positions.  Even if he does not win a starting role with the OL in 2020, his presence on the roster ensures the middle three offensive line positions have a solid reserve player.

He can play at either left or right guard, but his greatest value in 2019 was filling in at the center position.  Rookie center Brian Allen was lost early for the season due to injury, and newly acquired lineman Austin Corbett was not a great fit in the role. Perhaps it was the circumstances leading up to his filling in as the team’s center, but from the moment he did so, the Rams offensive line seemed to stabilize and improved somewhat.

Of course, bringing Blythe back is simply that, bringing a player from a year ago back once more. With Blythe back, the Rams now only need to re-sign left tackle Andrew Whitworth on offense. But does that help?  It should.

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The chaos that collapsed the LA Rams offensive line performance in 2019 will likely not repeat in 2020.  And even if it does, the Rams have more than enough offensive linemen to meet the 53-man roster needs of carrying eight.

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At some point, the Rams will need to divest of some linemen, hopefully via trade so that the Rams can both direct where the player ends up and ensure some future draft pick in the process.

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The Rams may be starting off slowly, but this was the plan all along. LA Rams cannot match the big bucks bidding which floods the free agency market each year.  Patience, scrutiny, and discernment are the Rams’ best tools right now. In several weeks, if the Rams can preserve some cap space, some very productive players will be available at bargain-basement prices.