Friday, April 03, 2020

Austin Blythe's $3.9M contract with Rams suggests he's in line to start again

After a brief wait, we finally know just how much money the Los Angeles Rams are committing to Austin Blythe in 2020. He agreed to a one-year deal with the team when free agency first began, but the terms of the contract weren’t released until recently.
As first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Blythe’s contract is worth up to $3.9 million with $3.5 million of that guaranteed.
His base salary next season will be $2.95 million, and he’s also getting a $950,000 signing bonus. His 2020 cap hit is $3.9 million, according to Over The Cap, 13th-highest on the team.

The Rams didn’t break the bank to keep Blythe on the roster, but that contract suggests he’s in line to start again in 2020. His cap hit is only $2.76 million less than Andrew Whitworth’s, and is the third-highest of any offensive lineman on the team – largely because the Rams’ other linemen are on rookie deals still.
The Rams’ biggest holes up front are on the interior where it’s a cluster of unproven guards and centers competing for starting jobs. Blythe has the most experience of them all, starting for two seasons in Los Angeles at both guard and center.
Austin Corbett, David Edwards, Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen are all in the mix, too, but Blythe has outperformed all of them, for the most part. And it’s worth noting that Blythe played through injury last season, undergoing surgery on both of his shoulders after the year ended.
When fully healthy, Blythe is a quality starter at guard. He’s also very capable of playing well at center, as he did in 2019 after Allen went down. That versatility isn’t something to ignore, especially with Aaron Kromer coaching the offensive line; he’s known for cross-training his linemen.
Blythe has been a valuable player for the Rams the last two years, first stepping up as a starter at right guard in 2018 when Jamon Brown was injured. He never relinquished the starting job at and retained that spot at the beginning of the 2019 season, before eventually sliding over to left guard and then center.
Next season, Blythe will have the chance to contribute at both guard and center, depending on how he performs at each spot – and how the Rams’ other linemen do, too. But at $3.9 million, it’s clear Los Angeles didn’t bring him back to ride the bench.

Popular Posts