One of the Rams’ best and most important moves in an otherwise quiet offseason was the acquisition of Kevin Dotson. They traded for him just before the season began, adding the Steelers guard to their offensive line room with the hope that he’d eventually become a starter.
He took over the right guard spot after Joe Noteboom got injured and never let go, performing as one of the best interior offensive linemen in the NFL. According to PFF, he was the second-highest-graded guard with an overall mark of 84.4.
The only downside to the trade is that Dotson had just one year left on his contract, so he’ll become a free agent in March. Given the way he played and the need for great guards around the league, it could be hard for the Rams to re-sign him, but that’s what they hope to do.
Rams GM Les Snead told reporters on Friday that they want to extend Dotson, knowing full well that other teams will also be trying to ink him to a deal.
“He’ll definitely have a marketplace, for sure. People are going to want him to come play football for them,” Snead said. “We’re one of those teams.”
Snead added that the Rams aren’t going to rush to make any offseason decisions just yet, but will take some time to reset and evaluate their situation, including their potential moves in free agency.
“We’ll take it a little bit slower. We’ll go decompress, come back and assess who we are, where we want to go into 2024, also into the future,” he said.
Dotson, 27, was a centerpiece of the offensive line and should remain as such next season and for years to come. The Rams have a chance to fortify the guard position by re-signing him and pairing him with Steve Avila, who just finished his rookie year.
There are a lot of holes the Rams would like to fill, but guard should be one of them with Dotson.