John Sullivan

John Sullivan Done With Football?

Albert Breer of believes center John Sullivan is done with football. The 34-year-old started in Super Bowl LIII for the Rams at the end of the 2018 season, but LA declined his 2019 option, and he did not suit up for anyone this past season.

That alone would suggest that the 2008 sixth-rounder has hung up the cleats for good, but Breer has even more evidence. Sullivan, whose Pro Football Reference page lists him at 312 pounds, recently told Breer that he is down to 235 pounds and feels great physically.

Sullivan, a Notre Dame product, never earned a Pro Bowl nod, but he was the full-time starter at center for the Vikings from 2009-14 and was a key factor in running back Adrian Peterson‘s success during that time, including his 2012 MVP campaign. After a one-year stopover with the Redskins, Sullivan joined the Rams in April 2017.

His first year with the club went rather well, as he graded out as the tenth-best center in the NFL that season, according to Pro Football Focus. But his performance slipped dramatically in 2018, which prompted the Rams to cut ties with him.

In his career, Sullivan started 125 regular season games and seven more in the postseason, and he earned over $35MM for his efforts, per Spotrac.

Rams C Brian Allen Out For Season

Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters earlier today that starting center Brian Allen had suffered a season-ending MCL injury, according to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. It remains unclear whether Allen’s injury could impact him next season or in the offseason, but he is definitely done in 2019.

Allen supplanted John Sullivan as the starter at center this season. While the entire Rams offensive line has struggled, Allen has played a major role in those issues. Trade deadline acquisition Austin Corbett had experience at both guard and center and seemed like a possible replacement for Allen, but instead slotted next to Allen at left guard.

When Allen left Los Angeles’ game on Sunday, starting right guard Austin Blythe slid over to center and backup Coleman Shelton replaced Blythe at right guard. Shelton was an undrafted free agent out of Washington last season who bounced between the 49ers and Cardinals practice squads before joining the Rams active roster this season.

The Rams were surely disappointed with Allen’s performance on the interior line, but are no better off with even less depth. If Los Angeles chooses to look at free agent options, Sullivan remains available on the open market.

In addition to Allen, Los Angeles could be without starting right tackle Rob Havenstein for two weeks, as veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Havenstein is dealing with a knee injury.

Rams Decline John Sullivan’s Option

The Rams did not exercise center John Sullivan’s 2019 option, sources tell Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter). The news comes as a surprise since Sullivan has not missed a start in the past two seasons and is one of the league’s most respected centers. 

[RELATED: Rams’ Todd Gurley Dealing With Arthritis In Knee]

Sullivan, 34 in August, graded out as the tenth-best center in the NFL in his first season with the Rams, according to Pro Football Focus. In 2018, Sullivan slipped all the way down to No. 31 with a career-low 52.7 mark. The Rams, apparently, agree with the advanced metrics, which indicate that the veteran’s pass blocking and run blocking have both declined.

Without Sullivan and his veteran guidance, the Rams will likely be in the market for a center. By letting Sullivan walk, the Rams will avoid a $6.25MM cap charge for the lineman, according to Over The Cap.

West Rumors: Raiders, Chargers, Broncos

The 49ers aren’t the only club with interest in former Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, as the Raiders also want to speak to the ex-Indy exec about a front office role, according to Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link). Oakland is rebuilding its front office after firing general manager Reggie McKenzie and top lieutenant Joey Clinkscales. Grigson would join a front office that now includes first-time GM — and former NFL Network analyst — Mike Mayock, who was hired earlier this week. The 46-year-old Grigson was fired by the Colts in 2016 after a tumultuous five-year term as GM, and has since worked with the Browns and Seahawks’ front offices.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Two of Sean McVay‘s top assistants will take their interviews with the Bengals on Friday. Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor and pass game coordinator/tight ends coach Shane Waldron will meet with Cincinnati ownership tomorrow, tweets Tom Pelissero of Nearly every candidate in which the Bengals have expressed interest thus far have come from the offensive side of the ball, with the only exception being former Broncos head coach (and ex-Cincy defensive backs coach) Vance Joseph. The Bengals were turned down by Josh McDaniels, but they’ve also asked to meet with Bucs OC Todd Monken and Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, among others. Bieniemy’s interview with the Bengals — originally scheduled for Friday — will now take place on Saturday, tweets Pelissero.
  • After being designated for return from injured reserve and participating in seven-on-seven drills at the end of December, Chargers tight end Hunter Henry took first-team snaps in practice this week, Los Angeles announced. However, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn still declined to commit to Henry playing against the Ravens in the first round of the NFL postseason, as Eric D. Williams of tweets. If Henry does play, he’ll be on a “pitch count,” meaning fellow tight ends Antonio Gates and Virgil Green will still see time. Henry tore his ACL in May, but Los Angeles held out hope he’d be available if the club made it to the playoffs.
  • Rams center John Sullivan collected a $1MM bonus by being active for at least 15 games and Los Angeles ranking as a top-five scoring offense and making the playoffs, per Field Yates of (Twitter link). Sullivan, 33, actually started all 16 games for the Rams in 2018, and has started 31 contests since joining the club last offseason. LA’s line was elite in 2018, finishing No. 1 in adjusted line yards and No. 6 in adjusted sack rate, but Sullivan graded as just the NFL’s No. 32 center, per Pro Football Focus. The Rams hold a 2019 option on Sullivan which would pay him $1.75MM in base salary in addition to a $2.5MM roster bonus.
  • Currently being run by a trust headed by team president Joe Ellis, the Broncos are in need of a permanent owner. That’s likely to eventually be Pat Bowlen‘s youngest daughter, Brittany Bowlen, tweets James Palmer of, who notes Brittany will join the organization “at some point.” Bowlen, 28, could potentially take over in 2021 after a new collective bargaining agreement is put into place, speculates Mike Klis of 9News.
  • 49ers left guard Laken Tomlinson suffered a torn MCL on Sunday, according to a team announcement. That’s relatively good news since the longtime starter was carted off of the field, leading to fears that he had suffered a torn ACL. Tomlinson will not need surgery, so he should be good to go for offseason activities. Tomlinson is under contract with San Francisco through 2021 thanks to the three-year, $18MM extension he signed last summer.

Rams To Re-Sign C John Sullivan

The Rams elected for continuity along their offensive line, bringing back veteran center John Sullivan on a two-year deal, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. The contract is worth up to $15MM,’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

Sullivan had drawn interest from the Giants and Redskins, but Rams general manager Les Snead also mentioned recently the team had already begun talks to bring him back. With interest from a pair of teams in need of offensive line help, Snead and the Rams made sure the team’s center would not get away.

Sullivan, 32, played 15 games for the Rams last year and graded out as the tenth-best center in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. After sliding down the Redskins’ depth chart in 2016, he re-established himself as a starting-caliber player.

[RELATED: Rams Depth Chart]

Giants, Redskins Pursuing John Sullivan

The Giants have asked to meet with Rams veteran center John Sullivan, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). Rapoport hears that he’s also drawing interest from the Redskins. 

The Giants are in search of a new center after losing to the 49ers. Richburg netted a pact worth $47.5MM, with $28.5MM in guaranteed money, but Sullivan would be considerably cheaper.

Sullivan, 32, played 15 games for the Rams last year and graded out as the tenth-best center in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. After sliding down the Redskins’ depth chart in 2016, he re-established himself as a starting-caliber player.

The Giants missed out on the best possible upgrade to their interior line when guard Andrew Norwell signed a mammoth deal with the Jaguars. Still, they landed a great consolation prize in tackle Nate Solder, even if the deal is something of an overpay, and former Jaguar Patrick Omameh projects to hold down one of the team’s starting guard spots.

The Redskins also lost their a center to free agency when Spencer Long agreed to join the Jets. As it stands, Chase Roullier projects as their No. 1 center, as shown on Roster Resource.

On Wednesday, Rams general manager Les Snead said that he has begun talks with Sullivan on a new deal.

Rams Talking With John Sullivan, Connor Barwin

Rams general manager Les Snead said the team is hoping to bring back center John Sullivan and linebacker Connor Barwin, and have begun talking with their representatives, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez tweets.

Sullivan, 32, played 15 games in his first season with the team and helped pave the way for Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley to amass a league-leading 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus ranked the veteran the 10th-best center in the NFL in 2017 with a 74.6 grade.

Barwin, 31, played in 14 games and started 13 while registering 34 tackles and five sacks. The former Eagles and Texans linebacker endured a down year and was rated as the No. 103 edge defender by Pro Football Focus. With the team’s trade of Robert Quinn to the Dolphins earlier in the offseason, Los Angeles would like to have Barwin back as a reliable veteran coming off the end.

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:


  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

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Rams To Sign C John Sullivan

The Rams have found their center. Los Angeles is signing veteran John Sullivan, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). John Sullivan (Vertical)

The Rams cut former starting center Tim Barnes last month, leaving them without a quality option in the middle. Now, new head coach Sean McVay has brought in Sullivan, a player that he knows fairly well. Last season, the two were together in Washington where Sullivan mostly served as a backup to Spencer Long. Before riding the pine in D.C., Sullivan was the Vikings’ starter for many years.

It’s hard to quantify a center’s performance, but Sullivan was highly regarded by the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus for his work from 2011 through 2014. Sullivan’s strongest seasons placed him comfortably in the top ten. Even in 2014, a down year by his previous standards, he was still an above average starter, per PFF.

Perhaps more importantly, Sullivan anchored the offensive line for some of Adrian Peterson’s best years in Minnesota. He also offers familiarity with McVay’s offensive system, which should be valuable for this young Rams team.

Rams Host John Sullivan On Visit

The Rams’ effort to pry a center away from the Bills via RFA offer sheet did not work after Buffalo matched Los Angeles’ Ryan Groy offer. But the team continues to look for available snappers. The Rams brought in John Sullivan on a visit today, Alden Gonzalez of reports.

Sullivan played under new Rams HC Sean McVay last season in Washington after signing in late September. The former longtime Vikings starter, though, served as a Redskins backup to Spencer Long. Now 31, Sullivan started just one game with the Redskins after being the Vikes’ starter from 2009-15.

However, Sullivan saw a back injury alter his career. Signed to a Vikings extension in April of 2015, Sullivan underwent a lumbar microdiscectomy procedure that September and then suffered a setback in his recovery, missing the entire ’15 season. The Vikings placed Sullivan on the trade block last year before cutting him and going with the older Joe Berger at center. Sullivan started 93 of 96 Vikings games from 2009-14, with the 2012 season obviously serving as one of the best rushing slates in NFL history once Adrian Peterson finished with 2,097 yards.

Sullivan has not been connected to any teams as a UFA in 2017 prior to this Rams visit. The Rams have only Demetrius Rhaney as a pure center on their roster presently. The Rams cut 2015-16 starter Tim Barnes earlier this month.