Rams Want To Extend C Coleman Shelton

A day after releasing former starting center Brian Allen, the Rams want to retain the player who took over their snapping duties last year.

Sean McVay confirmed (via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue) the team is attempting to reach an agreement to re-sign Coleman Shelton. The young interior O-lineman has the option of voiding the final year of his contract and hitting free agency.

After working primarily as a Rams backup from 2019-21, Shelton seized a starting guard job replacing the departed Austin Corbett in 2022. After an Allen injury during Week 1 of the 2022 season, Shelton moved to center. A 2023 offseason competition went Shelton’s way, and he started all 18 Rams games last season. Pro Football Focus graded Shelton as the league’s 17th-best center last season.

The center market cooled last year, allowing a few teams — the 49ers, Browns, Vikings and Panthers — to retain their previous pivots at reasonable rates. No free agent center agreed to a deal worth more than $6MM per year in 2023. Lloyd Cushenberry is expected to cost more this year, but the center market on the whole has seen better days.

Shelton, 28, has been with the Rams since arriving as a 2019 UDFA. He started at both guard and center in 2022 and joined most Rams O-linemen in missing time during that injury-plagued year. Shelton sustained a high ankle sprain in 2022 and missed four games, but he established himself as a starter — at both center and guard — in Los Angeles that year. The Washington alum parlayed that into a full-time gig, helping the Rams rebound on offense and return to the playoffs.

The Rams have Steve Avila signed through 2026, and left tackle Alaric Jackson is only eligible for restricted free agency this year. But Shelton and their other interior starter — guard Kevin Dotson — are moving toward free agency. After bouncing back in what many expected to be a rebuilding year, the Rams have some decisions to make along their O-line.

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