LA Rams McVay shares OC Coleman Shelton opting for FA

Coleman Shelton, Baker Mayfield
Coleman Shelton, Baker Mayfield / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

'It don't come easy, you know it don't come easy,' was the chorus of former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr's song, a solo venture that was a smashing success in the 1970s. While the song was published 50 years ago, it could just as easily have been written about the 2022-23 plight of the LA Rams football team. After winning Super Bowl LVI, the LA Rams were on top of the world. The Rams had just won nine of their last ten games, stomping through the competition in their way to achieving the act of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time for the city of Los Angeles California.

But the quick turn from the 2021 season's festivities and the preparation for the 2022 NFL season was hurried, rushed, and in many ways, sloppy. We can cite a few examples, but one particularly puzzling move that the LA Rams are now about to pay the price for is commiting to a two-year $3.25 million contract with backup offensive lineman Coleman Shelton. The reason that was a sloppy move is that the Rams had reason to believe that Shelton would earn a starting role on the offensive line in 2022, and yet the contract was crafted to give Shelton the option to void the second year of his contract and test the NFL Free Agency market.

Coleman Shelton has a history of contributing to some of the Rams' best rushing performances over the past two seasons. Hmmm...

Coleman Shelton is a free agent

Shelton was the LA Rams second-most dependable starting offensive lineman in 2022. He played in and started 13 games for the LA Rams in 2022, allowing four quarterback sacks and committing five penalties along the way.. Eight of his starts occured as the Rams offensive center, while five starts occured as the Rams offensive guard. Right now, the versatile offensive lineman is up for the highest bidder:

While the LA Rams offensive line was not very effective as a group in 2022, much of the struggle was the fact that the unit was welcoming new faces to the starting lineup each week. Imagine trying to perform on stage in a play, and each performance (with the same script) was with an entirely new cast. That places a lot of pressure and stress on the cast, because there is no continuity nor ability to communicate the small details that are necessary to showcase a cohesive performance.

I have been thrilled with what I have witnessed from Coleman Shelton, since scouting his play as a Washington Husky. He has the athletic style of play at offensive center that was made famous by former Indianapolis Colts Jeff Saturday, and now by Philadelphia Eagles offensive center Jason Kelce.

Shelton loves to attack when blocking, which often results in huge gains when running the football (see Tweet above).

So how is it that a backup center was signed to a two-year contract with a player option of voiding the second year of the contract? That's a head-scratcher to me. It's even more puzzling when you consider that the Rams offered no such option to OT Joe Noteboom or OC Brian Allen, both players re-signed at the same time as the Rams brought back Shelton.

I believe that the Rams would be very wise to bring back the very versatile Coleman Shelton. The trouble is that he could draw significant interest in the NFL Free Agency market. Not only has he played effectively at all three interior offensive line positions, but he is a valued blocker in the run game.

But it comes down to finances now, and options. Can the LA Rams land a competitive center/guard in the NFL Draft? Do the Rams believe that they have enough option on the current roster to backfill the vacancies created by free agents David Edwards and now Coleman Shelton? Will the Rams roll the dice by hoping that oft-injured Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen can buck the trend and stay healthy in 2023?

Trending. We now know when the LA Rams pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. dark

I'd feel better about the LA Rams offensive line if the team re-signs Coleman Shelton. But, the fact that he is a free agent in 2023 when he needn't be may be a clear indication that the LA Rams have no intention of extending him.