The Rams Wire
Austin Corbett went from being a backup in Cleveland to starting at guard with the Rams after Los Angeles traded for him in 2019. It was a much-needed change of scenery for the former second-round pick, igniting a spark in his career as an NFL offensive lineman.
But after two-plus years with the Rams, Corbett wanted a new challenge. Rather than returning to the Rams, Corbett signed with the Panthers in free agency, where he’ll also be a starting guard.
He loved his time in Los Angeles but he wanted to experience something new as he enters his fifth NFL season. Corbett explained his decision to sign with the Panthers while meeting with the media on Wednesday.
“It’s tough,” he said, via Panthers Wire. “Why do you wanna leave something that’s comfortable? It’s familiar. It’s human nature to avoid change, right? I think that’s something just for me, personally, and my wife. We discussed going into this that we wanted somewhere that was gonna challenge us just to grow and step into a new role, and just to be comfortable with change.
“We loved our time in L.A. We love the staff, we love the players. Everything about it. And now we have this opportunity to go out, branch off and just continue to develop us, and really have this fresh opportunity to see what we can do outside of that system, right?”
It’s possible, maybe even likely, that the Panthers paid Corbett much more than the Rams were willing or able to offer. His deal in Carolina is a three-year pact worth $26.25 million, including $19.6 million guaranteed at signing.
The Rams brought back Brian Allen, Joseph Noteboom and Coleman Shelton in free agency, keeping part of the offensive line intact. Shelton could very well be the replacement for Corbett at guard, just as Noteboom will take the place of the retired Andrew Whitworth.
Corbett was an integral part of an improved offensive line the last two years but the Rams had to do what they could financially to keep the core of the line together.