With the 2023 Scouting Combing finally wrapped up over the weekend, the NFL offseason news cycle—and rumor mill—is officially in full swing. It’s about time.
Outside of the L.A. Rams world, Derek Carr has signed a four-year, $150 million contract with the Saints (which is really a two-year, $70 million deal), the Chiefs are cutting Frank Clark and not tagging Orlando Brown, the Cowboys are tagging Tony Pollard, Calvin Ridley has been reinstated and will debut with the Jaguars next season, and the Titans are shopping Derrick Henry.
But the Rams won’t be left behind, as L.A. is reportedly ready to trade Allen Robinson to anyone who will take him and will cut Leonard Floyd if nobody is willing to trade for him either. Those two moves seem all but certain, in addition to the release of Bobby Wagner on March 15, as we await news on the fate of Jalen Ramsey.
By next week, Wagner, Floyd, Robinson, and Ramsey could all be former Rams, which makes the fate of others such as Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp so intriguing. But the player who might have the second-most trade value behind Ramsey is not Floyd or Robinson or even probably the star veterans given what teams have to pay them.
Despite missing most of the 2022 season and having a notable injury history, Noteboom is still a 28-year-old left tackle who would only cost $8.5 million in base salary next season. If that’s all a team had to pay Noteboom in 2023, that would put him below 18 other left tackles next season, as far as we know today.
The fact that the Chiefs won’t pay Orlando Brown gives Les Snead one more potential suitor for Noteboom’s services.
I know that Rams fans are underwhelmed with the return on Noteboom and that he’s not worth his $15.5 million cap hit to L.A. next season. But at $8.5 million, he’s not so bad. If the Rams can trade him soon enough, they’ll save $7.5 million against the salary cap: More than they’ll save by trading Ramsey, Floyd, or Robinson. By a good measure.
On the offensive line, Noteboom may have already lost the left tackle job to A.J. Jackson anyway. If the team could recoup a third round pick, all the more reason to think that L.A.’s 2023 draft capital doesn’t have to be as bad as it currently is without a first rounder. How many teams see Noteboom as an immediate upgrade to their current left tackle position and won’t see themselves being able to draft a starter in the third or fourth round?
His name doesn’t draw the headlines. But on the trade market, it could be much more valuable to teams than “Floyd” and “Robinson”.