LA Rams sign FA OC Drake Jackson to 2022 futures contract.

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams News Drake Jackson
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

There are many factors that will be weighed when the LA Rams go down the projected free agency list. Of course, among those factors, performance will be given significant weight. But there will be other factors as well. Durability is a big factor, particularly at a position that depends upon consistency.  Depth at a position will also be weighed.

Alternative options will enter the conversation as well.  If the LA Rams believe that other options are available, the team will allow a veteran to seek his next contract elsewhere, just as the team had done so with Austin Blythe in the 2021 NFL Free Agency market.

The LA Rams face that same amount of uncertainty after the season ends for this year. Not only will starting offensive center Brian Allen’s contract likely expire but so will the contract of backup offensive center Coleman Shelton.  With no other center on the roster with any playing experience, the LA Rams were, unfortunately, painting themselves into a corner.

Rams center position remains a huge question mark

The 2022 NFL Draft is loaded with offensive tackles, and the supply of interior offensive linemen (not offensive centers) is pretty deep as well. Both positions could be addressed in the 2022 NFL Draft, despite the fact that seven of the team’s eight draft picks fall on Day 3.

Unfortunately, the offensive center is a critical position that cannot be filled with on-the-job training from any ole offensive lineman. The ability to hike the football and instantly engage blocking is something that requires years to master.

The Rams learned their lesson the hard way when they attempted to move offensive guard Austin Corbett to the center spot, and backfill the right guard with offensive lineman Bobby Evans. That was all well and good until the pads went on. Then, it became evident that not only was Bobby Evans not going to work out at the guard position, but Austin Corbett is a much better NFL offensive guard than the center. And so, the Rams backtracked and reinserted former starter Brian Allen into the offensive center spot.

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While he started the season well, Allen has struggled to remain healthy and sustain that early-season level of proficiency. With free agency approaching, the Rams need alternatives.