Rams’ roster rebuild – 2022
The LA Rams will be hard-pressed to refill their roster in 2022 at the same quality as they did for 2021. That is no accident, as the team had directed their free agency and trade negotiations to target players who were in the last year of their contracts. That list of 2021 rentals includes outside linebacker, Von Miller, running back Sony Michel, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., running back Buddy Howell, and outside linebacker Jamir Jones.
While deliberate, it certainly complicates the team’s roster build for 2022 if the front office must sign an NFL offensive left tackle who can start next season. An additional complication is that the Rams heir apparent to the left tackle position, Joseph Noteboom, is himself a projected free agent in 2022.
In fact, the LA Rams offensive line could lose as many as four players if the team is unable to come to terms with Austin Corbett, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, and Noteboom. If the team also faces the retirement of Andrew Whitworth, the offensive line could be due for a huge set of changes next year.
Until now, it seemed to be almost a certainty that the 16-year veteran would be ready to retire. But after a season like he is putting up in 2021, I’m not so sure. The team certainly has every incentive to lobby hard for his return. It’s tough enough to find a solid NFL starting offensive lineman, let alone one who is among the best in the league at one of the most difficult positions.
Of course, the team should not turn a blind eye to the spot in the offseason. The Rams can use one more year to ensure that Whitworth’s successor is fully prepared to handle the workload. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the ride. Big Whit’s got this, and he is getting better with age.