4 free agent offensive linemen to get LA Rams to NFL Playoffs

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams NFL free agents A.Q. Shipley
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

C Shipley

Perhaps the weakest link on the LA Rams offensive line is the center position. The Rams never truly seemed to have an answer. In fact, it was not until veteran guard Austin Blythe slid over to the center position that the Rams offensive line seemed to hit bedrock.  Not a perfect solution perhaps, but much of the offensive line was duct tape and patch kits.

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Arizona Cardinals A.Q. Shipley provides an immediate upgrade over any center on the team’s roster right now. In fact, we have named him in previous articles as a free agent target for the team. Per PFF statistics, he played 1041 offensive snaps in 2019.  He was called for just four penalties during that time.  And he allowed just two quarterback sacks. For comparison, Brian Allen was called for more penalties on half as many snaps. And Blythe allowed as many sacks on fewer sacks.

Center of focus

Shipley has played for seven seasons. While he is likely not in line for a Pro-Bowl nomination this season, the Rams simply need steady play at center. They can do so by signing Shipley to a short duration deal, even if he is not a starter for the team. That allows the team to relax a bit in terms of fast-tracking young linemen for playing this year.

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The Rams need an improved offensive line in 2020. While the team is on track to be better in 2020, how much better is still a question.  The Rams held the 31st-ranked offensive line last year. Even with that type of handicap, the team still finished better than .500 for the season. How successful might the team be in 2020 if the offensive line plays somewhere at the league mid-point? That’s something the Rams should be shooting for. If the current roster cannot get them there,