As the Los Angeles Rams await Andrew Whitworth’s retirement decision, they have plenty of work left to do along the offensive line no matter what happens with the 40-year-old Super Bowl champion. Backup left tackle Joseph Noteboom is an unrestricted free agent, as is guard Austin Corbett and center Brian Allen.
Next year, right tackle Rob Havenstein and his backup Bobby Evans will both have expiring contracts, as will left guard David Edwards. Les Snead and Sean McVay have an entire offensive line to either overhaul or re-up in the next 13 months.
This probably points the Rams back in the direction of the draft. Though Tremayne Anchrum is the only offensive lineman drafted by Snead since 2020, undrafted free agent A.J. Jackson filled in admirably at points in 2021, and International Pathway Program player Max Pircher is a hopeful developmental project for the long-term future. Los Angeles most likely must add at least one or two names in the draft to compete for starting positions in 2024 at the latest, but could their be any second or third wave offensive line free agents for Snead to consider later this month?
It seems unlikely that the Rams would sign a starting left tackle to replace Whitworth, unless it is Noteboom. As you’ll see though, Noteboom could soon be one of the top-two left tackles in all of free agency. It is also unlikely that anyone other than Havenstein will be starting at right tackle in 2022.
But we should still be aware of the options.
The following 2022 unrestricted free agents come courtesy of the work done at OvertheCap.com. The left and right designations are fairly “soft” and not necessarily binding, but a good starting point at least.
2022 offensive tackle free agents
Orlando Brown, Chiefs (26) - 16 starts
Jason Peters, Bears (40) - 15 starts
Cam Robinson, Jaguars (27) - 14 starts
Terron Armstead, Saints (31) - 8 starts
Geron Christian, Texans (26) - 14 games, 8 starts
Cornelius Lucas, Commanders (31) - 15 games, 7 starts
Rashod Hill, Vikings (30) - 15 games, 5 starts
Josh Wells, Bucs (31) - 17 games, 5 starts
Julie’n Davenport, Colts (27) - 9 games, 4 starts
Jamarco Jones, Seahawks (26) - 10 games, 2 starts
Joseph Noteboom, Rams (27) - 15 games, 2 starts
Elijah Wilkinson, Bears (27) - 13 games, 1 start
Jason Spriggs, Falcons (28) - 15 games, 1 start
Korey Cunningham, Giants (27) - 12 game appearances
David Sharpe, Ravens (27) - 3 appearances
Chris Hubbard, Browns (31) - 1 game appearance
Sam Tevi, Colts (28) - 0 games
Greg Senat, Jets (28) - 0 games
One of the most important lessons you should learn about NFL free agency, if you haven’t already, is that it is almost always underwhelming. We go a whole year with a list of “upcoming free agents!!!” and then by the time the bidding opens up, most of the top-10 or top-20 percent of those names have been re-signed by their original teams. Good players and great players are not often allowed to leave by the franchise and the best ones are locked down well before they can hit the market.
Brown is not hitting the market. Armstead will probably only hit the market if the Saints are concerned with his injury history. The Jaguars tagged Cam Robinson last year and they could do it again.
Doubt it if the Jaguars will use the tag, but the potential tags are LT Cam Robinson (again) and WR DJ Chark.— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) February 21, 2022
Doubtful on Chark due to the $$$. https://t.co/ce7zIPE5RO
If those three fail to become free agents, then the top-ranked left tackles in free agency will look something like Jason Peters, Geron Christian, and yes, Joseph Noteboom.
This is yet another reason to expect the Rams to lose Noteboom in about two weeks.
Morgan Moses, Jets (31) - 17 starts
Chukwuma Okorafor, Steelers (25) - 16 starts
Brandon Parker, Raiders (27) - 17 games, 13 starts
Bobby Massie, Broncos (33) - 13 starts
Tyrell Crosby, Lions (27) - 11 starts
Brandon Shell, Seahawks (30) - 10 starts
Trent Brown, Patriots (29) - 9 starts
Trenton Scott, Panthers (28) - 14 games, 5 starts
Cameron Fleming, Broncos (30) - 5 games, 4 starts
Dennis Kelly, Packers (32) - 10 games, 4 starts
Jordan Mills, Saints (32) - 10 games, 3 starts
Mike Remmers, Chiefs (33) - 4 games, 2 starts
Will Richardson, Jaguars (26) - 13 games, 2 starts
Ty Nsekhe, Cowboys (37) - 12 game appearances
Bobby Hart, Bills (28) - 4 games, 1 start
The right side may offer a little more relief, and I’m not sure how many if any of these names would be competent on the left. Most of these names are career backups or firmly entrenched as right tackles, making any signing other than a “key reserve” unlikely for L.A..
It may be enough for another team to even scoop up someone like Jamil Demby off of the Rams’ practice squad—Demby is a restricted free agent this year.