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Free Agent Spotlight: Kevin Dotson emerged as crucial piece to re-tooled Rams offensive line 

When Kevin Dotson arrived in Los Angeles in late August, he knew he had a big opportunity ahead of him, given the Rams had acquired the offensive lineman heading into the final year of his rookie deal.

He capitalized in a big way.

An instrumental part in the success of the re-tooled Los Angeles offensive line, and especially L.A.'s run game, Dotson started at right guard in Week 4 and never looked back, finishing the 2023 regular season as the highest-graded run-blocker among all guards according to Pro Football Focus. He was also a big piece to keeping quarterback Matthew Stafford's jersey clean.

Now, Dotson will enter the offseason as a pending unrestricted free agent.

The Rams understand Dotson will have a competitive market based on how he performed, as indicated by general manager Les Snead's comments last Friday, and are prepared to be a part of it. And after what happened in 2022, and the stability it had across the 2023, the Rams know how important continuity along the offensive line is.

Snead also said last week the Rams were going to begin outlining a blueprint in terms of a communication timeline with Dotson's agent. Thing will begin to really pick up for Dotson on March 11 at 9 a.m. pacific time – that's when teams are allowed to enter contract negotiations with agents of unrestricted free agents from other teams. At that point, Los Angeles will likely have a clearer sense of Dotson's market and the competition for his services, if it doesn't already.

Dotson enjoyed the change of scenery and the environment the city of Los Angeles and the Rams provided him, which would seem to help L.A.'s chances of keeping him.

If the Rams are unable to retain Dotson, their healthier cap situation this season would give them the option to potentially explore finding his replacement in free agency. The draft could also be another option – see Steve Avila being selected in the second round last year as an example of being able to find a potential plug-and-play offensive lineman.

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