Ye who need hope, look to Brian Allen.
Yes, that’s right. Look to Brian Allen.
Calling to Bobby Evans, to Tremayne Anchrum, and Chandler Brewer.
Notice to Brycen Hopkins, to Darrell Henderson, to Tutu Atwell.
Attention to Terrell Lewis, to Taylor Rapp, to David Long, Jr..
If ye need hope, look to Brian Allen. The proof buried at the bottom of the pudding cup, shouting, screaming, yelling at you... “Please mix! It’s never too late.”
When he was drafted in the fourth round in 2018, Allen’s odds of becoming a long-time starting center in the NFL were already set below 50-percent. Allen would set foot on the field for only 36 offensive snaps as a rookie, lowering his odds a little bit more.
Then given nine starts and 563 snaps in year two, the audition did more to confirm his fate on the bench than it did to endorse Allen as the team’s starting center in year three. And sure enough, given no preseason to even convince the Rams to “Please Try Again”, Brian Allen was practically finished through three seasons.
“Practically finished” is not the same as actually finished.
When the Rams held OTAs in 2021, the team’s starting center was Austin Corbett. When it became clear in training camp that the starting center would be Allen, that’s when I first learned how distraught LA fans could be at such an announcement.
“Brian Allen was the worst player on the team in 2019. How is this happening?”
To Evans, to Anchrum, to Hopkins, to Lewis, and in the interest of wordplay, to Tutu: It’s not too too late to get Rams fans back on your side.
As long as you have a roster spot, you have hope.
#18 - C Brian Allen
(Programming note: Due to a miscount, I have had to push the first three names down one peg so instead of Allen being ranked 17th, he is 18th. Instead of Troy Hill and John Wolford being 18th and 19th, they are 19th and 20th. Instead of Robert Rochell being the last one in, he is the first one out. My apologies.)
Sean McVay named Allen as the team’s starting center as soon as he could, meaning he was held out of the preseason again but this time he didn’t look so bad once the regular season got underway. Allen held up his side of the bargain and was even named as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2021, though that is a fairly low bar to use for any sizing of how good he was.
Or how long he will be the team’s starting center.
What we do know is that unlike Austin Blythe before him, the Rams liked Allen enough to keep him off of the free agent market and signed him to a three-year, $18 million contract. What does this really mean?
It means that Brian Allen carries a $1.8 million cap hit in 2022 (26th among centers for this season) and that helped L.A. solidify the position while retaining a lot of key players. For the record, the Seattle Seahawks are paying Blythe a $4 million salary.
Allen received $6 million guaranteed and will have a $6.8 million cap hit in 2023, but the team could still potentially part with him for savings if he reverts back to his 2019 self.
Brian Allen has to prove again that he is a good center. But is he a good enough center at $1.8 million? Yes and we already know that he’s at least a serviceable one... and potentially an inspiration to a lot of his teammates who are still hoping to convince the Rams that they also deserve a second contract.
Who should rank higher as "most important" for the 2022 LA Rams season?
This poll is closed
C Brian Allen
CB Troy Hill
K Matt Gay
CB Robert Rochell
QB John Wolford