The Rams signed the former Cincinnati Bengals to a free agent contract worth $33.7 million over three years, including a $5 million signing bonus and $15 million guaranteed.
The veteran All-Pro changes the dynamic of a Rams line that ranked among the worst in the NFL last year, replacing the disappointing Greg Robinson at left tackle, allowing Rodger Saffold to settle in at left guard and paving the way for Rob Havenstein to move from right tackle to right guard and Jamon Brown frog guard to right tackle.
More than that, his veteran leadership has been a welcome addition to a team in desperate need of it.
"It is early but you see it right away," said Rams head coach Sean McVay. "You get around him -- even for me when you're talking to him from
Robinson, the second overall pick in the 2014 draft but a huge disappointment over the last three years, was traded Thursday to the Detroit Lions for a sixth-round pick.
Robinson started 42 games over his Rams career, but could never settle in as the dependable tackle the Rams hoped. He lost his left tackle job to Whitworth and was beaten out in OTA's at right tackle by Jamon Brown.
The Rams will get $3.2 million in salary cap relief in the deal.
"Since we drafted Greg, he has been committed to our organization, his teammates and community outreach," Rams General Manager Les Snead said. "We appreciate his dedication and the effort he's put forth over the past three seasons. We wish him the best as he embarks on this new chapter."
--Tight end Gerald Everett, a rookie from South Alabama, has made an impression thus far this offseason with his athletic ability and ball catching skills. As Everett gets more settled in offensively, the Rams believe he'll be in position to make an impact.
"I think you saw it, when he's just understanding exactly what's going on and he can just go play -- that's when you see his athleticism show up and that's why we feel like he's going to be capable of being a good player for us," said head coach Sean McVay. "I think just like a lot of these rookies, as they're getting more comfortable with what we're asking them to do, it allows them to play faster and not have to feel like they're thinking so much. I thought that play that you saw was a great example of that."
--Wide receiver Tavon Austin is still recovering from offseason wrist surgery but has been a noticeable presence during OTA's and minicamp. Austin looks forward to finally being healthy and creating a niche for himself in the Rams offense under new head coach Sean McVay.
"I'm just the type of guy who wants the ball in my hands any type of way," Austin said. "It might be vertically, or jet sweeps, screens, it doesn't really matter to me. I just want the ball in my hands any way I can get it. I'm just taking that in. Whatever he prepared for me, I definitely will be ready."
McVay said the Rams have big plans for Austin.
"We have ideas of the way we want to utilize him," McVay said, "He's done lot of great things on tape. But until you're actually able to get out on the grass with him and watch him do some of the things that we're asking him to do, it does makes it a little more difficult. We'll get a chance to see that early on in training camp."