Austin Blythe’s Chiefs contract shows he wasn’t a priority for the Rams

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Cameron DaSilva
·2 min read
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Sean McVay and Les Snead made it very clear during their media sessions this offseason that center is an important position on the offensive line, and having continuity at that spot is valuable. That seemed to indicate Austin Blythe would be a priority in free agency, but after two weeks of sitting on the market, it became clear that wasn’t the case.

And now looking at his contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, it couldn’t be clearer that the Rams didn’t make much of an effort to re-sign their starting center from last season. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Blythe signed a one-year deal worth $990,000 fully guaranteed. He has another $760,000 in playtime and team-performance incentives, which could bring the total value up to $1.75 million.

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The Rams were limited in how much money they could spend in free agency, but that’s absolutely not a contract that was out of their price range. They could’ve easily afforded to re-sign Blythe. They chose not to.

Last year, he had a cap hit of $3.9 million with a base salary of $2.95 million. His deal with the Chiefs has a salary that’s almost $2 million less and only guarantees him $990,000 for the 2021 season.

It was believed that Blythe would probably earn a raise this offseason after starting all 16 games at center last season. A salary over $3 million was not out of the question. The Rams wouldn’t have been wrong for giving him a contract in that range, given the market at center.

By letting him walk for a $990,000 deal with the Chiefs, the Rams made their intentions abundantly clear. They either like Brian Allen or Coleman Shelton as their starter in 2021, or they have their eye on a player such as Quinn Meinerz in the draft.