Rams deal changes starting offensive line; tight end Colby Parkinson added

Detroit Lions guard Jonah Jackson (73) warms up before a game against the Carolina Panthers.

The Rams did not begin the NFL free agent negotiating period with a major splash but general manager Les Snead methodically began addressing several needs.

On Monday, the Rams agreed to terms with offensive lineman Jonah Jackson and tight end Colby Parkinson, people with knowledge of the situation said. The people requested anonymity because the deals cannot become official until the NFL’s new league year begins Wednesday.

The acquisition of Jackson, who played four seasons for the Detroit Lions, comes a week after the Rams re-signed Kevin Dotson, a guard the Rams traded for on the eve of last season. Dotson received a three-year contract that includes $32 million in guarantees, according to

The deal with Jackson almost certainly means Steve Avila, the Rams’ second-round pick last year, will move to center after starting every game last season at left guard.

Avila, 24, has experience at center. He started six games as a sophomore and 11 as a junior at Texas Christian before earning All-America honors as a guard in his final college season.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Colby Parkinson (84) warms up before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tight end Colby Parkinson (84) agreed to a deal with his hometown team, the Rams. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Coleman Shelton started at center for the Rams last season but he voided the final year of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent.

The Rams went into Monday’s free agent negotiating period with about $29 million in salary-cap space, according to That ranked 17th among NFL teams.

Jackson, 27, was selected by the Lions in the third round of the 2020 draft and made the Pro Bowl in 2021. He sat out five games last season because of wrist and knee injuries, and suffered a knee injury in an NFC divisional-round victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that sidelined him for the NFC championship game defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

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Veteran Rob Havenstein is entrenched at right tackle. Left tackle Alaric Jackson is a pending restricted free agent. Joe Noteboom, who has started at tackle and guard, almost certainly will have to agree to a contract restructure to remain with the Rams. He is due to carry a $20-million salary-cap number, according to

With veteran tight end Tyler Higbee recovering from major knee surgery, the Rams were in need of a tight end to bolster a position group that includes second-year pro Davis Allen and Hunter Long.

Parkinson, 25, played four seasons for the Seattle Seahawks after he was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. Last season, the former Westlake Village Oaks Christian High and Stanford standout caught 25 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.