The Rams Wire
The Rams used their top pick in 2018 on a lesser-known tackle out of TCU. That player, of course, was Joseph Noteboom.
They drafted him with the plan that he would replace Andrew Whitworth eventually as their starting left tackle, not knowing exactly when Whitworth would decide to retire. The Rams probably thought Noteboom could take over as early as 2019, but Whitworth signed a three-year extension in 2020 and still has yet to retire from the NFL.
On Monday, the Rams committed to Noteboom long-term. They agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $47.5 million, with a base value of $40 million and $25 million guaranteed.
Whitworth is still on the roster as of now, but this extension for Noteboom indicates that Whitworth is likely on his way out. And after four years of patiently waiting for his opportunity to start, Noteboom is finally getting his shot.
He’s gotten the chance to start here and there before, but never as a full-time player at tackle. In 2019, Noteboom was the starting left guard for six games before getting injured. He looked overmatched on the interior, struggling with stronger defensive tackles.
In 2020, he started nine games while Whitworth was out with a knee injury, and last season, he made two starts in the regular season – one at right tackle and one at left tackles – and started another game for Whitworth in the playoffs.
So while $47.5 million seems like a lot for a player who’s never been a primary starter at left tackle, Noteboom proved he’s more than capable of handling a larger role such as the one he’ll have in 2022 – assuming Whitworth does indeed retire.
One of Noteboom’s biggest moments came in the divisional round of the playoffs when he started at left tackle and went toe-to-toe with Jason Pierre-Paul on the left side. He allowed one pressure, zero sacks and earned a pass-blocking grade of 86.3, according to Pro Football Focus.
He’s only had one game at tackle in which he allowed more than three pressures, which shows how reliable he’s been for the Rams. And in the last two seasons, he’s given up just three total sacks.
The Rams are confident in Noteboom stepping in at left tackle, and once Whitworth does officially retire, it’ll be Noteboom’s perch for the next three years.