LA Rams FA OT Joseph Noteboom: re-sign, sign, draft, or promote?
Of course, the first and optimal option for any player the Rams were happy with starts with an extension or re-signing him. And I can assure you that the Rams are quite pleased with Noteboom. Like wanting nothing but the best for him. He would be someone who would be extended without hesitation if the organization had the money to do so. But the Rams Free Agency decisions are inherently complex. They currently have $190,313 available salary-cap space projected for 2022 (as of January 20, 2022).
The LA Rams know exactly who Joe Noteboom is, and what he is all about. He has shown up each year, put in the work, paid his dues, and deserves his big contract. But even more than that, he deserves his shot to start on an NFL offensive line. The trouble right now is that he has earned a shot to start at left tackle, the most vital position on an offensive line. But 40-year-old Andrew Whitworth shows no signs of slowing down.
What role to Rams see for 2022?
If a team envisions Noteboom as a clear starter at offensive left tackle, Noteboom’s market price shoots up to a multi-year deal, say in the 3-4 year range, with an average per year that will run anywhere from $7-10 million. If the market insists that Noteboom is best valued as a versatile backup, then that deal will likely fall in the two-year range with a total valuation of $5-8 million.
Ideally, the Rams would prefer to get Noteboom signed to the latter contract. Even if they get him cheaply, do not think for a minute that the team would hesitate to start him. But look for a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, who are themselves projected to lose their offensive left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., to make a strong play for Noteboom. In the face of a bidding war, I would expect the Rams to pursue other avenues.