Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
The Los Angeles Rams announced they agreed to terms with offensive lineman Coleman Shelton on a two-year contract.
Shelton exercised his option to void his previous deal and become a free agent this offseason. Instead of leaving, however, Shelton remains in Los Angeles where he will have the opportunity to claim one of the starting spots.
The 27-year-old holds plenty of value as he’s able to play both center and guard, providing some much-needed versatility to an offensive linemen room that has plenty of question marks heading into the 2023 season. During the 2022 campaign, Shelton started all 13 games he played in and swung between positions along the interior due to the numerous injuries the roster sustained.
Los Angeles’ demise was due to the offense, though the offensive line had a lot to do with that because of their inability to run block or pass protect. Shelton was solid in his first year as a full-time starter, though he alone couldn’t make up for Rams’ deficiencies up front.
Shelton has spent several years developing in Los Angeles, coming to the team in 2019 when he was signed off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad. Shelton got his start in the NFL when he signed with the San Francisco 49ers after going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft.
With Coleman officially back, the Rams will have to sort out who their starting offensive linemen will be. Rob Havenstein should reprise his role at right tackle, while some combination of Alaric Jackson and Joseph Noteboom will man the left side. Brian Allen should be earmarked for center, so that leaves right guard as the real question mark for Los Angeles. Shelton could be penciled in at the spot, though he’ll have Logan Bruss as competition.
Although L.A. looks like they have enough on paper, they would be best served to bring in more depth and talent. Due to their limited financial resources, they should be making offensive line a priority in the upcoming draft, though they have routinely neglected that unit until the later rounds.
Retaining Coleman is an important first step for the Rams, who have been busy clearing money off their books. While the rest of the league has indulged in free agency, the Rams have taken a backseat as they continue to evaluate their roster.
The initial wave of signings has come and gone, so now might be the perfect time for the Rams to find some value with the leftover free agents.
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