The Rams have a big decision to make at right tackle

By Kenneth Arthur | Turf Show Times | Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

In 2017, Rob Havenstein was a third-year right tackle who had the advantage of being able to work outside of the spotlight because he was a member of one of the most veteran offensive lines in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams had just signed Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan, two veterans with a combined 20 years of experience, to start at left and right guard. And left guard Rodger Saffold, a second-team All-Pro that season, was in year seven.

Now five years on, it’s Havenstein’s turn to be the team’s most-experienced offensive lineman and unlike Whitworth having Sullivan and Saffold, there won’t be a close second.

Entering his eighth season in the league, the veteran right tackle has started 109 games, including postseason, which is more than double the 45 starts of left guard David Edwards. That is followed by the 29 starts of Brian Allen, then 19 for Joseph Noteboom, not all of which came at left tackle.

That gives Rob Havenstein more career starts than the rest of the Rams’ offensive line combined.

But what will the 2023 free agent be worth to L.A. on his next contract, if he even gets to his next contract with the Rams? That’s a question that many teams still seem to struggle with as right tackle continues to be far less valued than their blindside counterparts.

While 19 left tackles make at least $12 million per season on their current contracts, only five right tackles can say the same: Ryan Ramczyk, Brian O’Neill, Lane Johnson, Braden Smith, and Taylor Moton.

Havenstein, who signed a four-year, $32.5 million contract extension that is set to expire after 2022, is well below them at $8.125 million per season. Will he go up or down? Will the Rams pay it … or will L.A. be getting even less experienced in 2023?

The only thing I know for sure is that Rob Havenstein is next on our top-20 for the most important Rams of 2022.

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