Tim Barnes briefly flirted with the Chiefs in free agency, but ultimately saw an opportunity with the Rams that he couldn't pass up. With the departure of Scott Wells, you could argue that he's at the top of the pecking order for the starting job.
Then again, you could also argue that he is at the bottom.
Barnes has paid his penance on the Rams roster and practice squad. In 2015, he will have a real chance to become a full-time starter at center with the Rams.
The competition for the starting - and backup - center slots is about as wide open as is possible on an NFL team. There is no draft status or salary dictating how this will play out. The coaches haven't endorsed any one player. It's a rarer thing than you would think....
Your three options: Demetrius Rhaney (roster preview) - who Jeff Fisher seems to be smitten with, Barrett Jones - the talented yet oft-injured former NCAA prodigy, and Barnes - the man who has filled in while the other two were hurt.
All other things being equal, I'd put my money on Jones to win the starting gig...but I'm not counting Rhaney or Barnes out.
It's in the blood of every NFL player, but this is going to be a fierce battle. If Barnes wants to stake his claim to the starting job, he's going to need to make the most out of his opportunities in camp. Even though he is being given a shot at a starting spot, getting cut isn't out of the question either if he has a poor showing.
Chances of Making Final Roster (8/10)
With five rookies, Rodger Saffold, Gregg Robinson, Garrett Reynolds (roster preview), and the aforementioned other two options at center, you'd think it'd be a crowded group. But I like Barnes chances. Although his contract only has $50k in guarantees (leaving him vulnerable to being cut) he is the only player currently on the roster with experience at center.
And we all know how Jeff Fisher loves experience on the OL....