Jaguars have yet another option at center after Rams release Brian Allen

• The Jaguars need to make upgrades at center, and Brian Allen just became available.

Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen (55) against the Arizona
Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen (55) against the Arizona / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams are getting ready for free agency, re-signing their own players, and releasing others to create cap space. Just recently, the Los Angeles Rams moved on from veteran center Brian Allen. Coincidentally, the Jaguars could use a boost at the position, and Allen gives them yet another option to replace incumbent Luke Fortner.

Los Angeles announced they've released Allen ahead of free agency. The move gives them $.4.9 million in space with $3.15 million in dead money. He was part of the Rams' Super Bowl 56 team and signed a three-year deal worth $18 million in 2022. However, the veteran center missed seven games in 2022 and was phased out in favor of Coleman Shelton last season. Back in 2021, he appeared in 16 games, posting a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 80.2. However, he's only appeared in 12 contests the past two years.

Allen will join a market that includes the likes of Connor Williams, Andre James, Aaron Brewer, and Lloyd Cushenberry III. Mitch Morse could also be available if the Buffalo Bills move on from him. Similarly, Shelton might be available if the Rams don't bring him back.

In Allen, the Jaguars would get a veteran with Super Bowl experience. The downside of signing him is that he's failed to stay healthy throughout his career, having never played a full season. The team's brass could roll the dice on him, but expecting him to suddenly suit up for all 17 games may not be realistic. That said, he could push incumbent Luke Fortner, who regressed in 2023 after flashing as a rookie.

Brandon Allen gives the Jaguars yet another option at center this offseason

Center is without a doubt one of the Jaguars' biggest needs this offseason. Last year, they couldn't protect Trevor Lawrence nor establish the run. Luke Fortner was the main culprit, posting a PFF run grade of 40.0 while giving up a concerning 28 total pressures and four sacks. General manager Trent Baalke praised the third-year center, telling the media he has what it takes to play the position. However, there's little reason to believe he'll suddenly put it all together in 2024.

Maybe Forter will indeed get better down the road, but the Jaguars cannot wait for him. They could target stud Jackson Powers-Johnson at No. 17 in the 2024 draft but he won't be their only option. They could wait a couple of rounds and go after Zach Minter or Graham Barton. Fortunately for them, this is a center class, so they can address other needs in the first round. Conversely, the Jags could also bolster their position in free agency.

The aforementioned Brandon Allen could add competition, but there are other proven starters the Jaguars could pursue. Ultimately, it may come down to how much they want to invest at the position. Either way, the front office won't have a shortage of options, so they cannot go into the regular season without making upgrades.

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