Rob Havenstein

Latest On Rams’ Offensive Line

The Rams’ offensive line staffing issues extended to the point three in-season signings — Matt Skura, Ty Nsekhe, Oday Aboushi — needed to step into starting roles last season. Skura and Nsekhe ended up making eight starts for a team mired in a near-season-long blocking crisis.

None of these veterans remain with the team, as it will attempt to reconstruct a line with capabilities near the level of its 2021 Super Bowl-winning group. As of OTAs, however, only one spot appears locked down. Rob Havenstein, the only constant for Los Angeles up front last season, is on track to man the team’s right tackle spot for a ninth season. Beyond the St. Louis-era holdover, competition will ensue in the coming months.

Although the Rams re-signed Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen last year, neither may be a lock to enter the season as a starter. Allen will compete for the center job he has held for three of the past four seasons — excepting a full-season 2020 absence — while Noteboom, per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue will likely vie for the left tackle gig with Alaric Jackson, one of the other Rams to suffer a season-ending health issue last year (subscription required).

Noteboom, Jackson, Allen, David Edwards, Tremayne Anchrum and 2022 third-round pick Logan Bruss were lost for the season. Week 1 right guard Coleman Shelton missed time as well, leading to numerous O-line combinations during a disastrous Super Bowl title defense. Of this group, all are back except Edwards, a three-year guard starter who signed a low-cost deal with the Bills in March.

Noteboom, who signed a three-year, $39MM deal ($16.5MM fully guaranteed) to succeed Andrew Whitworth, suffered an Achilles tear in mid-October. He is not yet a full OTAs participant but is expected to be full-go by training camp. The other in-house option at left tackle, Jackson, filled in for Noteboom but did not play past Week 9 due to a blood clot issue. The Rams cleared Jackson (six 2022 starts) earlier this spring, Rodrigue notes, giving the third-year UDFA an interesting opportunity. It would stand to reason Noteboom will be favored, given his contract and previous role as Whitworth’s top backup, though Rodrigue adds the former third-round pick could be a left guard option as well. Noteboom played guard in 2019, but a season-ending injury closed that path. Jackson played both guard and tackle last season, filling in for both Noteboom and Edwards, offering flexibility for the regrouping Rams this offseason.

Allen started at center throughout the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning season but suffered a Week 1 knee injury and saw a calf ailment end his season three games early. Suffering an ACL tear midway through the 2019 season and missing all of 2020 as a result, Allen played just seven games last season. While he worked his way back from the ACL setback en route to a two-year, $10MM deal, the guarantees on that pact have been paid out. Allen figures to match up with last year’s Week 1 right guard, Shelton, at center. Pro Football Focus graded Allen as the NFL’s 10th-best center in 2021; it slotted Shelton as a bottom-tier interior lineman last year.

While Shelton (13 starts last season) will also be an option at right guard again, the Rams have used their top pick on a guard in each of the past two years. Bruss, who suffered ACL and MCL tears during a preseason game, has received clearance to return. The Rams chose TCU’s Steve Avila 36th overall. Avila should be ticketed for a starting guard role. Bruss was in competition for the right guard gig last year, but Avila’s draft slot would make it a bit of a surprise if he was not penciled in to start in Week 1. A former seventh-round pick, Anchrum has minimal game experience and is coming off a September fibula fracture. He will likely vie for a swing job.

Over the past two offseasons, the Rams have lost considerable experience. Whitworth’s retirement and the free agency exits of Edwards and Austin Corbett have created an interesting (and mostly unproven) mix here. The Rams could have re-signed Edwards for next to nothing, as he is tied to a one-year, $1.77MM contract, but they will aim to build around Avila. The team, which also added new O-line coaches (Ryan Wendell, Zak Kromer), may field a new-look front five come Week 1.

Contract Details: Watt, Rams, Texans

With teams preparing their cap sheets for the start of the NFL season, we’ve seen a number of front offices rework some contracts. We’ve compiled some of the recent contract maneuverings (as well as some details on recent signings and extension) below:

  • T.J. Watt, LB (Steelers): restructured contract yesterday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The move opened $6.75MM in space for Pittsburgh. Watt inked a four-year deal worth up to $112MM (including $80MM guaranteed) last September.
  • Rob Havenstein, OT (Rams): three-year extension. The deal is worth $34.5MM, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). The extension includes $24.1MM guaranteed and offers $6MM in incentives.
  • Tyler Higbee, TE (Rams): restructured contract earlier this week, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The team converted $4.75MM of Higbee’s base salary into a signing bonus, creating $3.8MM in space.
  • Jalen Thompson, S (Cardinals): three-year extension. The $40MM deal includes $24.5MM in guaranteed money and a $10MM signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of (on Twitter).
  • Lane Johnson, OT and Jake Elliott, K (Eagles): restructured contracts today, according to Yates (on Twitter). The Eagles converted $5.88MM of Johnson’s base salary and $2.715MM of Elliot’s base salary into signing bonuses, creating about $6.9MM in cap space.
  • O.J. Howard, TE (Texans): one-year deal. The contract is worth $1.035MM, according to Wilson (on Twitter). The tight end will receive $910K in offset from the $1.945MM guaranteed base salary he got from his previous deal with the Bills. When coupled with the $1.25MM signing bonus he got from Buffalo, Howard will earn a total of $3.25MM this year.
  • Eric Murray, S (Texans): restructured contract yesterday, per Yates (on Twitter). Specifically, the team converted $1.465MM of his contract into a signing bonus, opening $732.5K in cap space.
  • Ka’imi Fairbairn, K and Cameron Johnston, P (Texans): restructured contracts earlier this week, per Wilson (on Twitter). The two moves saved the Texans $2.1MM in cap savings.

Rams Sign RT Rob Havenstein To Extension

The Rams have extended their right tackle. The team announced (on Twitter) that they’ve signed Rob Havenstein to a contract extension. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler first reported (on Twitter) that the two sides were close to a deal.

Havenstein was set to play out the final season of his contract in 2022. Despite inking his four-year, $32.5MM deal back in 2018, the veteran lineman still ranked among the 10 highest-paid right tackles in the NFL last year. According to Fowler, his new extension should “bolster his spot” in the top-10, with CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweeting that Havenstein received a three-year deal.

The 2015 second-round pick has spent his entire career with the Rams, starting all 99 of his regular-season appearances. After bouncing around the offensive line early in his career, Havenstein has settled in as the team’s full-time RT since 2017.

Other than a 2019 campaign where he was limited to only nine games thanks to a knee injury, the offensive lineman has appeared in at least 13 games in each of his NFL seasons. The 30-year-old has also been along for all of the team’s recent playoff runs, starting each of his 10 postseason appearances, including all four during last year’s Super Bowl run.

Havenstein was named a first-time captain this year following another standout campaign in 2021. Last year, he ranked as the league’s ninth-best tackle among 83 qualifying players, making it the third time in four seasons that he’s ranked within the site’s top-15.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/22/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on list: T Le’Raven Clark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Rams Rework OL Rob Havenstein’s Contract

The Rams have opened some much-needed cap space. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that offensive lineman Rob Havenstein has agreed to restructure his contract.

Specifically, the Rams converted $3.84MM of Havenstein’s salary into a bonus. The team also added three void years to the deal. Overall, the move saved the organization $3.072MM against the cap. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), the team previously had about $150K in cap space, so this will provide the front office with some necessary breathing room.

Rapoport also adds that the Rams have used in-season restructurings to move about $48.222MM to future seasons. Teams generally shuffle around cap space as they look to make promotions and midseason signings, but Los Angeles has taken it to another level as they look to contend for a championship.

Havenstein was a 2015 second-round pick by the Rams, and he’s spent his entire career with the organization. The veteran has started all 90 of his regular season appearances, and he’s appeared in 100 percent of his team’s offensive snaps through the first six weeks of the season. The 29-year-old inked a four-year, $32MM extension with the Rams in 2018.

Rams Rework Rob Havenstein’s Contact

Jared Goff isn’t the only Ram whose contract is getting restructured today. Los Angeles has also restructured offensive tackle Rob Havenstein‘s deal, according to Field Yates of (Twitter link).

The Rams converted $2.34MM of Havenstein’s 2020 base salary into a signing bonus, per Yates. That move will create $1.56MM in cap space for Los Angeles, giving the club even more room to fit in the newly-announced signings of Leonard Floyd and A’Shawn Robinson.

Havenstein signed a four-year $32.5MM extension with the the Rams in 2018. He’s regressed a bit since then, but he’s still locked in as LA’s starting right tackle. He’s under contract through the 2022 campaign.

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 Notes: Donald, McVay, Havenstein

The Rams and Aaron Donald would like to get an extension done before the start of the season, but that’s there’s no deadline in negotiations, according to head coach Sean McVay.

I don’t think so,” McVay said when asked whether there’s a deadline (via Mike Florio of PFT), “but I think for us ideally you’d like to be able to see a guy get in here a couple weeks before the season starts but in terms of a stern deadline we don’t have that. We’ve been in this situation before. Everybody knows how important Aaron is to us and how much we want to be able to get this thing done. In the meantime we’re appreciative of the guys that are here that are working but to say that there’s a stern deadline I wouldn’t say that but I think there is an ideal time where you’d like to get him in here to get him in football shape and feel confident that he’ll be ready to go and be healthy enough to participate just based on the things we’ve gotten exposed to before that first game.”

There has been talk of a deal coming together soon, but McVay has cautioned that nothing is imminent.

Here’s more out of L.A.:

Rams, RT Rob Havenstein Agree To Extension

The Rams and right tackle Rob Havenstein have agreed to a contract extension, a source tells Lindsey Thiry of (on Twitter). It’s a four-year deal worth $32.5MM. 

With an average annual value of just over $8MM per year, Havenstein now becomes one of the highest paid right tackles in the league in terms of new money. Currently, Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses ranks third in the NFL with his $8MM/year deal.

Havenstein, a second-round pick in the 2015 draft, has been the Rams’ starter at right tackle for the last three years. Although he is not a world-beater, he has been a consistent force on the offensive line. Last year, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 33 ranked tackle in the NFL.

In Week 1, the Rams project to start Havenstein on the right side, opposite of standout Andrew Whitworth. In between, they’ll start Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, and Austin Blythe at the interior spots. Third-round pick Joseph Noteboom and Cornelius Lucas figure to serve as the main backups for Whitworth and Havenstein.

With Havenstein’s situation squared away, the Rams may look to address the expiring contracts of Jamon Brown and Saffold. They are also working feverishly to take care of Aaron Donald, whose expiring contract is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Extra Points: Ja. Peppers, Rams, Texans

Jabrill Peppers played both linebacker and cornerback at Michigan, but nearly all NFL teams view the draft-bound prospect as a safety, he told the Associated Press. Peppers is on board, saying, “I didn’t play safety, but I’m going to be a safety.” While one club informed Peppers it would use him at linebacker, another had an outside-the-box idea. “One team told me they thought I should play offense,” revealed Peppers, who did see time on that side of the ball at Michigan last season. Peppers rushed 27 times for 167 yards, caught two passes and scored three touchdowns. He also fared well in space as a punt returner, posting a Big Ten-leading 14.8-yard average on runbacks.

More from around the game:

  • Ravens college scouting director Joe Hortiz is the Rams’ top choice to take over the same position in Los Angeles, reports CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (all Twitter links). The Rams have shown interest in Hortiz in the past, notes La Canfora, who adds that Baltimore wouldn’t be able to prevent him from leaving. Los Angeles started reshuffling its scouting department when it dismissed four evaluators on April 9.
  • The Rams are also making changes on the field, with several familiar names apparently set to switch positions as the Sean McVay era begins, according to Myles Simmons of the team’s website. Contrary to a prior report, the signing of left tackle Andrew Whitworth will not force Greg Robinson to shift to guard; rather, Robinson will head to right tackle, leaving Rob Havenstein to move inside. Elsewhere, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner will play free safety and Maurice Alexander will take over at strong safety in the wake of the team’s addition of Nickell Robey-Coleman, who’s primed to handle Joyner’s old job as a slot corner. Finally, Robert Quinn is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker, though his role as a pass rusher will remain the same.
  • Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles visited the Texans on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. With potential first-rounders in Bolles, Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk on their radar, it’s clear the Texans are strongly considering taking a tackle with the 25th pick in the draft.
  • The surgery Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster underwent on his right rotator cuff in February won’t keep him out for any portion of training camp, his agent, Malki Kawa, announced Monday (on Twitter). The soon-to-be first-rounder is “ahead of schedule,” per Kawa.