Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Agree to Deal with Veteran Guard Davin Joseph


According to ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner, the St. Louis Rams were finalizing a deal with veteran offensive lineman Davin Joseph on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Joseph is a two-time Pro Bowler and has started 99 games over an eight-year career for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After missing the entire 2012 regular season with a broken kneecap and torn patellar tendon, his production dropped off a bit after he returned in 2013. He was released after the season, and he received some interest from other teams but didn’t find a match until now.

Though the Rams previously had expressed interest in Joseph when it appeared that guard Rodger Saffold was going to the Oakland Raiders, it’s a bit of a surprise that the Rams ultimately decided to sign Joseph. They went on to lock up Saffold as their starting right guard after he failed a physical with Oakland, and when they drafted Auburn’s Greg Robinson with the second overall pick earlier this month, it was reported that he was going to play left guard in 2014.

It’s possible that after getting a better look at Robinson during the past couple weeks of workouts, the Rams could have concluded that he’s a better fit at tackle. After all, they gave serious thought to trading back into the first round to select Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, so they apparently don’t have unshakeable faith in incumbent right tackle Joe Barksdale. If that were the case, Joseph could assume one of the starting guard spots while Robinson kicked out to tackle.

Another possible explanation is that the Rams don’t have total faith that left tackle Jake Long, who is currently recovering from a torn ACL, will be ready in time, and they’ve picked up Joseph as a fallback in case they need to start Robinson in place of Long to begin the season. For what it’s worth, Long looked good and was said to be progressing very well at the Rams’ pre-draft event several weeks ago, but ACL rehab is a very complicated process, and it’s certainly possible that his rehab could have hit a road block.

If neither of those scenarios is the reason for Joseph’s signing, he’ll act as an experienced depth guy who will have the edge for the primary backup guard spot, though he may face some competition from younger linemen including Brandon Washington and Travis Bond. Ordinarily, it would not make much sense to have a guy like Joseph, who has played his entire career at one position, as a backup on gamedays. But with the ability of Robinson and Saffold, the projected starting guards, to play tackle, he’ll be fine to dress on Sundays just like backup guard Shelley Smith did last season.

Tags: Davin Joseph St. Louis Rams

  • ricdram

    For depth I’m OK with a 1 yr veteran minimum
    (like) contract for DJ. In my mind JLong is still
    a BIG ” ? “. I’d rather proceed as if he won’t be
    available this yr. > Side with caution.

    • Nate Riggins

      Jake isn’t the question everyone seems to think he is. He’s not a lock, but he’s a strong probable.

      • ricdram

        I hope you are RIGHT Nate. Its just that JL has a history of injuries & he is going
        into his 8th year. God Bless his ACL.

  • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

    If Jake Long is not ready they are Rams can proceed with Joe Barksdale at LT then move Robinson at RT then DJ man’s the LG position. Barksdale has experience handling the LT position when both Saffold and Long where injure. If you ask why not Saffold at LT? he tends to get injured playing OT so he’s better at his current position now.

    • Gary Stewart

      cesar another possible is to leave joe b at RT and move roger to LT and put davin in at RG next to barksdale, until and if jake makes it back. i prefer saffold at guard but i think i prefer saffold to barksdale when it comes to covering bradfords blindside

      • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

        I never like the idea of Saffold handling the LT spot unless there are no other players to handle the LT position. Majority of his injuries is when he plays OT. That’s why the Rams drafted 2 Offensive tackles and recently pick up Travis Bond via waivers this year so that they would put more bodies at OT and not resort on moving Saffold back at OT. Barksdale is a swing tackle by trade that’s why I prefer him handling the backup LT spot for now.

        • Gary Stewart

          i just have not seen barks as a LT and it worries me when i have to reason to support his ability to protect bradfords blindside also barks at RT does not usually draw the best d lineman who typically rush from the blindside either way lets hope it goes Barks RT Saffold RG Robinson LG and Long at LT that would have me smiling

          • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

            I have seen Barksdale work when Saffold was injured in 2012 and he has held his own very well.

          • Gary Stewart

            well i don’t want to see saffold and his shoulder playing tackle anyway, so as long as we can cover bradfords blindside this year i believe we will finally breakout!!