The deadline for the new NFL season to begin is 16 March 2022, but teams can begin to work with agents and players today to set up contracts to be signed quickly when that happens. For now, the best news to hear from LA Rams fans is to hear about the team re-signing their own players. Well, isn’t it fitting that the first player to be re-signed by the team will more than likely be their starting left tackle?
That is the salary range that the LA Rams are paying Joseph Noteboom, with a reported deal that will work out to a three-year deal for $40 million, and $25 million guaranteed. With incentives, this could work out to a $47.5 million payout for the young offensive lineman.
So unless I’ve established a financial relationship with Joseph Noteboom, or gambled on the belief that he would return to the team, why is this such great news? Simple enough. It’s a sign that the Rams will invest in the offensive line for 2022.
It starts up front for the LA Rams
Not all offensive linemen are created equal. In the grand scheme of things, some players have a mindset for pass blocking, while others have a mindset for run blocking. Over the course of the past two seasons, we’ve seen Joe Noteboom grow into both roles while coming off the bench to replace veteran OT Andrew Whitworth.
So what does Noteboom bring to the blindside of QB Matthew Stafford? Plenty. While he has not yet achieved that threshold of play that was the trademark of Andrew Whitworth, he is finally on track to start on the offensive line and should have the position sewn up for years to come for the Rams.
But Noteboom is a versatile and athletic offensive lineman as well. Because he has solid lateral movement, but can also block downfield, the Rams running game is laying the solid groundwork towards becoming dangerous in 2022 once more. Pairing Noteboom at left tackle with an upgrade at the offensive center position by re-signing Coleman Shelton, and the Rams running game is back in business for the 2022 NFL season.
I am very optimistic about this first extension by the LA Rams. Beyond the uptick potential for the team’s running game, it is a new direction for the team to go. Noteboom, at over $10 million per season, is clearly the intended starting left tackle. If the team extends Coleman Shelton, then they are down to just the right guard position, and that can be addressed by promoting either Tremayne Anchrum or Chandler Brewer in training camp.
Stay Tuned folks. The next 48 hours will be quite the roller coaster ride…