Rob Havenstein certainly wasn’t a nobody when he came into the NFL, having been a second round pick out of Wisconsin by the St. Louis Rams in 2015. Under then-head coach Jeff Fisher, Havenstein was a solid player as the right tackle but he impressed enough in Sean McVay’s system in 2017 for the Los Angeles version of the team to give him a four-year, $32.5 million contract extension in August of 2018. Havenstein made that contract look like a bargain with his breakout play in 2018 as the Rams made it back to the Super Bowl after a 17-year hiatus, but with three years left on the deal his team may be looking to swap him for a cheap draft pick.
Is there a team out there willing to give up said draft pick and should it be the LA Chargers?
As things hit all cylinders in the right way in 2018, LA’s offensive line excelled in making Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and all the receiving options shine in their brightest ways possible. And as many things began to dim last season, Havenstein’s poor play got as much attention as almost anyone else on the Rams offense. Not only that, but Havenstein missed several games with a knee injury and then was outplayed by backup Bobby Evans at right tackle. As the Rams look to save cap space for moves in the upcoming offseason, one potential area of savings is in dealing Havenstein to a team willing to take on his $3.75 million roster bonus and thereby saving $5.4 million overall.
The acquiring team would be getting a player at a position where there are few greats, which is right tackle, assuming he isn’t moved elsewhere. They’d also be getting one whose salary is more than acceptable, so long as he returns to his pre-2019 form: $3.25 million in 2020, $6.75 in 2021, and $7.25 in 2022. They could also release him with no dead money.
The bad side is that Havenstein appeared to be very bad in 2019. His PFF grades plummeted and the Rams may have turned to Evans already anyway.
Right now, the Chargers have openings at both tackle spots after trading Russell Okung to the Panthers for guard Trai Turner. They’ve got their right guard for next season but have open competitions at right and left tackle. Acquiring Havenstein would give them a right tackle, but the cost to acquire is still up for debate. What would you think of an LA switcharoo?