Rams Make Crucial $3.2 Million Decision With Veteran Starter

Sean McVay Les Snead

Getty Sean McVay and Les Snead on August 29, 2019 in Houston.

Just when it was looking like the Los Angeles Rams would have a hole to fill on their offense at center, turns out Brian Allen isn’t drifting off anytime soon.

Per Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap on Thursday, March 23, the veteran starting center got his deal reworked by the Rams — which now saves the team $3.2 million in cap space.

What Reworking Allen’s Deal now Means

Allen was originally entering this free agency cycle with a cap hit of $6.2 million.

By slicing that number to the $3 million range, it gives the Rams more space to work with cap wise…and also ensures the Rams are keeping both of their center options under general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay.

The Rams already resigned Coleman Shelton on March 15, giving the Rams one center option but also someone who can swing to guard. Restructuring Allen’s deal keeps their true starting center around.

Over the Cap didn’t specify if this move is a traditional restructure. However, Allen could still be faced with a larger cap number for 2024 and 2025. Still, Allen remains a Ram — and likely will convince the front office to not make center a high priority come April 28 when the Rams draft at No. 36 in the second round.

Allen has been with the Rams since 2018. After earning 37 offensive snaps his rookie season, he rose to 563 snaps including 364 pass blocking attempts in 2019 per Pro Football Focus. He sat out 2020 due to COVID-19. His best season then became the Super Bowl run of 2021 — earning 1,181 total snaps and earning a 79.7 run blocking grade. Allen was also given a 74.8 overall grade by PFF.

Last season, Allen was among the list of injured offensive linemen on the Rams. He was bottled to just 373 total snaps and managed to play in only seven games. He was on the field for 60 or more snaps in four games during the 5-12 campaign.

Analyst Believes Rams are Waiting to After Draft to Add Free Agents

Meanwhile, the Rams have had a rare quiet offseason in the Snead/McVay regime — as the first two weeks of free agency is when the NFL sees the Rams aggressively pursuing past Pro Bowlers.

Does this mean the Rams are entirely ignoring free agency and will focus solely on the draft? One analyst isn’t ruling out the Rams still pivoting to free agency.

Cameron DaSilva of Rams Wire on USA Today wrote on Thursday that from a strategic standpoint, the Rams tend to wait until the dust settles.

“Over the course of the last six years during the Sean McVay and Les Snead era, the Los Angeles Rams have been very strategic about the way they add talent. Not only do they tend to trade picks for players, but they aren’t usually big players early in free agency,” DaSilva wrote.

There’s also this element pointed out by DaSilva: If the Rams resign anymore unrestricted free agents, those players count against the compensatory pick formula — which can cancel one of those picks the Rams recently received. The Rams hold four compensatory picks for the next draft.

“This could be why they’re waiting to sign any outside free agents until after the draft, which is when players no longer count toward the formula,” DaSilva wrote.

In this scenario, Bobby Wagner and DeSean Jackson didn’t count against the comp formula when they signed with the franchise, as both were released by their teams and were free to sign anywhere.

“The compensatory pick formula isn’t the only thing causing the Rams to be inactive in free agency, but it’s surely a factor,” he wrote.

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