Turns out the $110 million given to Cooper Kupp and the $95 million given to Aaron Donald in June 2022 aren’t considered the best contracts among the Los Angeles Rams for the 2022 season.
Per Pro Football Focus on Thursday, June 23, the national analytics website listed a $32.5 million deal from the “Rams House” in their top five.
So it’s not the Super Bowl 56 Most Valuable Player or the man responsible for delivering the final pulsating defensive stop who cracked the top five of PFF’s listing. But the list compiled by Brad Spielberger falls into the category of “most team-friendly” contract among key starters — with one pivotal Rams starter armed with a $32.5 million deal being the lone L.A. representative.
Ram Player is Integral Part of Offense
So who ended up breaking the top five of the PFF list? That would be Rob Haventein, offensive tackle of the Rams and a big reason why Matthew Stafford gets time to throw.
Havenstein’s current deal not only involves the $32.5 million for four years, but per PFF he has helped given the champs $7.25 million in cash remaining.
Why is Havenstein considered a valuable asset in the financial department along with his presence on the Ram offense? Spielberger dove into his consistency in pass protection as one primary reason.
“Havenstein has recorded back-to-back season grades above 80.0, culminating in a Super Bowl run in which he earned a 77.0 postseason pass-blocking grade going up against loaded defensive lines in the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals,” Spielberger said.
There’s one more layer: The extension he was given back in 2018 was before a certain took off in the NFL.
“His extension in 2018 just before the right tackle market took off turned into a huge bargain, with the highest-paid right tackles now earning over $10 million more per year than Havenstein,” Spielberger wrote.
Will Havenstein Become More Valuable Than Ever in 2022?
The 30-year-old hasn’t been named to one Pro Bowl yet. Before this coming season, he wasn’t even considered the best all-around lineman on the Rams — as the title was given to Andrew Whitworth by fans and media.
But the 6-foot-8, 330-pounder has long been considered an under-appreciated player on the Rams who isn’t afraid to run down the field to clear lanes.
Especially on this punishing block back in 2018 versus Kansas City.
Now, with “Big Whit” off to retirement, Havenstein’s experience and pass blocking will be sorely needed moving forward — which could mean establishing himself as Stafford’s top line bodyguard.
He’s also heading toward a pivotal season where his contract officially expires after this season per Spotrac, making him an unrestricted free agent for 2023. Spielberger gave an idea of what Havenstein could be worth.
“The Rams have consistently demonstrated a willingness to negotiate with players despite several years remaining on their contracts, and Havenstein would make sense as the next man up for a new deal,” Spielberger wrote. “Left tackle Joseph Noteboom, set to replace Andrew Whitworth in 2022, signed a three-year, $40 million extension deal earlier this offseason with 1,373 career snaps to his name. Havenstein played 1,236 snaps in 2021 alone at a very high level, and while he plays on the right side, his new deal should be closer to Noteboom’s annual value.”