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Free Agent Spotlight: Alaric Jackson reliable at left tackle for Rams

Protecting a quarterback's blind side is no easy job, and offensive lineman Alaric Jackson handled it quite well. 

Starting at left tackle in all 15 games he played in, Jackson helped the Rams offensive line allow the seventh-lowest sack rate in the NFL last season (5.5%). 

Jackson himself tied for first in fewest sacks allowed (1.0) among offensive tackles who played at least 500 snaps last season. 

Now, Jackson is a pending restricted free agent. 

First, a quick note about restricted free agents: They are free to negotiate and sign with any team, but their original team – in Jackson's case, the Rams – can offer them one of various qualifying offers ("tenders") that come with the right of first refusal and/or draft-pick compensation.'s 2023 free agency guide has more information on those types of tenders here.

If the Rams place a tender on Jackson, he would have until April 19 to sign an offer sheet from another team, and they would have until April 24 Deadline to exercise Right of First Refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another team. 

As mentioned in Kevin Dotson's spotlight, the stability of 2023 – and lack thereof in 2022 – showed the Rams how important it is to have continuity along the offensive line. And with a healthier cap situation this offseason, they have the resources to be able to tender and retain Jackson. The aforementioned metrics speak for themselves for how critical he was to keeping quarterback Matthew Stafford upright this season.

If the Rams and Jackson go in a different direction – meaning, not placing a tender or not matching another team's offer sheet should another team submit one – free agency or the draft could be possibilities, especially depending on what they do with their first-round pick (19th overall).

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