Rams free agency: Dotson's dilemma pivots on going for bank or bling

The Rams experience with former FA OLB Von Miller has left me realizing that free agents determine their own destiny, and must choose between bank or bling when free agency finally arrives.

Kevin Dotson, Los Angeles Rams
Kevin Dotson, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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I: Go for the bank

The truth is that the market for an incredibly fast-rising NFL offensive guard could be anything in the 2024 NFL Free Agency market. Let's be clear, though. Kevin Dotson was acquired by the LA Rams in 2023 for more than his potential fit on the Rams' offensive line. The guy was incredible value, to the tune of costing the cash-strapped team less than $2.3 million for the 2023 NFL season, The trade for Dotson was more than football-related. Last season it was financially motivated as well.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise for Dotson to seek a huge payday. But what might his new contract offers look like? Per Spotrac.com, Dotson's value is projected as high as $16.4 million per year. Per Over The Cap.com, Dotson's valuation for free agency comes in at a far more modest $5.85 million per year. That is a huge range that certainly complicates any hopes for a quick and easily negotiated extension.

In a market of uncertainty, the team can only hope for the best while preparing for the worst. There is no shortage of interior offensive linemen who are currently all due to hit the 2024 NFL Free Agency market. With 63 projected free agents, that would mean that nearly all 32 teams have lost, and could sign, as many as two veterans long before the 2024 NFL Draft.

But Dotson is no just any ole veteran offensive guard. He is young and is a rising star, putting up one of the best seasons for an offensive guard in 2023. That should attract plenty of window shoppers, and might even lure as many as five or more NFL teams to come calling with a lucrative contract in hand.

How rich might those contract offers be? Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Quenton Nelson signed a four-year $80 million contract extension in September 2022. Green Bay Packers offensive guard Elgton Jenkins signed a four-year $68 million contract extension in December 2022. With those two contracts as a template, Kevin Dotson can command a huge contract in 2024, perhaps one that is far beyond what the Rams front office might be willing to pay him.