NFL

Rams set at talent positions, however offensive line faces uncertainty – NFL Nation


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Lindsey ThiryESPN

Shut Lined Rams for 2 years for Los Angeles Instances
Beforehand lined the Falcons
Has lined the NBA and faculty soccer and basketball

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams featured one of the crucial prolific offenses within the NFL final season, as quarterback Jared Goff and operating again Todd Gurley propelled the group to a mean of 32.9 factors per sport, a second consecutive division title and a Tremendous Bowl look for the primary time because the 2001 season.

Over the offseason, a number of positions on protection — together with linebacker, defensive deal with and security — have to be addressed. However on offense, minimal change is anticipated among the many 11 beginning spots.

Every expert starter stays beneath contract, and the one place group that would expertise important change is the offensive line.

The road performed a big position in permitting Goff to go for four,688 yards and 32 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions, whereas being sacked solely 33 instances. The group helped spring Gurley to 1,251 speeding yards and 17 speeding touchdowns.

The NFL wage cap is anticipated to extend about 6 %, from $177.2 million in 2018 to between $187-191 million in 2019, in accordance with the NFL.

The Rams may have $33 million in salary-cap area in 2019, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data estimates.

Here is a take a look at questions going through every place group on offense:

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Offensive line

The offensive line has been among the many most constant within the NFL the previous two seasons.

In 2017, the Rams began the identical 5 linemen — left deal with Andrew Whitworth, left guard Rodger Saffold, heart John Sullivan, proper guard Jamon Brown and proper deal with Rob Havenstein — for 15 consecutive video games earlier than coach Sean McVay elected to relaxation starters within the regular-season finale.

Final season, Austin Blythe supplanted Brown because the starter at proper guard, and the Rams turned the one group within the league to begin the identical 5 linemen all through the common season. The identical 5 additionally began three playoff video games.

However change is anticipated.

Saffold, whom the Rams’ chosen within the second spherical of the 2010 draft, is a pending unrestricted free agent. The nine-year veteran has expressed a need to stay with the group, but in addition mentioned he should be certain that a good deal is struck. It’s anticipated that Saffold can be supplied a richer deal elsewhere.

With one yr remaining on his three-year contract, Whitworth, 37, is mulling retirement. If Whitworth chooses retirement, the Rams might save as a lot as $11.5 million in cap area, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data.

“That is one thing the place he is definitely earned the correct to have the ability to make that call,” Rams coach Sean McVay mentioned of Whitworth. “He was enjoying fairly good soccer nonetheless.”

Mentioned Goff of Saffold and Whitworth: “I might like to have them each again. They’re each great gamers. Guys which were large for us up entrance, management each day in conferences, all the things, they have been so huge for us.”

And the Rams should determine whether or not to train an possibility on Sullivan’s contract. A 10-year veteran, Sullivan’s possibility is price $5.5 million in opposition to the cap, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data.

Rookie deal with Joe Noteboom and heart Brian Allen obtained loads of reps with the starters all through practices final season because of the relaxation schedules of Whitworth and Sullivan. Noteboom additionally was inserted as wanted at guard and deal with all through the season. Each gamers are thought-about viable choices to advertise to starter.

The precise aspect of the road is anticipated to stay intact after Havenstein signed a four-year extension price $32.5 million in August. Blythe has one yr remaining on his rookie deal.

Quarterback

The Rams are anticipated to train the fifth-year possibility on Goff’s rookie contract, and the 2 sides are actually eligible to interact in long-term extension negotiations for the two-time Professional Bowl choice.

Backup Sean Mannion, a third-round choose in 2015, is a pending unrestricted free agent. Mannion struggled to command the offense all through the preseason. In three seasons, he has accomplished 33 of 53 passes for 258 yards, with an interception.

After speeding for 123 yards in opposition to the Cowboys within the playoffs, pending free agent C.J. Anderson will seemingly find yourself elsewhere subsequent season. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Pictures

Working again

The playoff conundrum apart, Gurley undoubtedly stays the franchise operating again after he signed a four-year extension price $60 million, with $45 million assured, in July.

Nevertheless it stays unsure who will occupy the No. 2 spot.

C.J. Anderson, whom the Rams signed on Dec. 18 after a sequence of accidents within the place group, is about to return to free company and is more likely to appeal to consideration after he rushed for a mixed 299 yards and two touchdowns within the ultimate two video games of the common season, then added 123 speeding yards and two touchdowns in a divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Malcolm Brown, Gurley’s trusted backup the previous three seasons, is on the mend after he suffered a season-ending clavicle damage in Week 13 and is a restricted free agent.

Justin Davis and John Kelly additionally stay beneath contract.

Tight finish

Tyler Higbee, who caught 24 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns, is about to enter the fourth and ultimate season of his rookie contract.

Gerald Everett was sluggish to combine into the offense after he was sidelined and slowed all through the preseason due to a shoulder damage, however the former second-round choose is anticipated to play a extra important position in 2019.

Receiver

The receiving corps is in stable form waiting for 2019, with every of their 4 prime producers beneath contract.

The Rams return Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks, who had 1,219 and 1,204 receiving yards final season, respectively.

Cooper Kupp continues on social media to chronicle his rehab course of after present process season-ending knee surgical procedure after Week 10. And Josh Reynolds proved himself as a dependable possibility after he took over for Kupp.


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