Rams are no strangers to overcoming massive dead cap charges
The Los Angeles Rams are at a crossroads. They’re entering an offseason that could be painful in multiple ways, both from a financial and roster-building standpoint.
Already, the Rams have agreed to part ways with Bobby Wagner, they will trade or cut Leonard Floyd, they’ve given Allen Robinson permission to seek a trade and Jalen Ramsey is a prime candidate to be dealt.
The Rams’ goal is to not only recoup draft picks if Ramsey, Floyd and Robinson are traded, but also to free up cap space. The problem is, in order to create that cap space, they need to take on dead money – a lot of dead money.
There is potential savings on the table for Los Angeles with any of these moves, but the amount of dead cap charges the Rams will have to eat is not insignificant. Here’s a look at how much dead money the Rams could face with the potential moves mentioned above.
Cutting Bobby Wagner
Dead money: $7.5 million
Trading Allen Robinson
Dead money: $11.2 million
Trading/cutting Leonard Floyd
Dead money: $19 million
Trading Jalen Ramsey
Dead money: $19.6 million
The Rams will have the option to designate Wagner or Floyd as post-June 1 cuts, but that doesn’t change the amount of dead money the team incurs. It’ll still be the figure listed above, but with a post-June 1 cut, A) The Rams don’t get the cap savings until after June 1 and B) The dead money is just spread out over two years instead of hitting the cap all at once in 2023.
For example, if they cut Floyd now as a standard release, $19 million would go on the 2023 cap as dead money. If he’s a post-June 1 cut, they’d take on $6.5 million in dead money this year and $12.5 million in 2024. The net savings doesn’t change; that’s still $25.5 million overall this year and next.
For example, Leonard Floyd
Pre-June 1 cut:
– $19M dead in 2023
– $3M savings in 2023, $22.5M savings in 2024
Post-June 1 cut:
– $19M dead ($6.5M in 2023, $12.5M in 2024)
– $15.5M savings in 2023, $10M savings in 2024
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) March 6, 2023
If the Rams make all four of the previously mentioned moves involving Wagner, Robinson, Floyd and Ramsey, they’ll take on at least $57.3 million in dead money. I say “at least” because the Rams are reportedly willing to pay some of Robinson’s guaranteed salary to make a deal happen, so his charge could be even higher.
That’s obviously a huge amount of dead money, but this wouldn’t be the first time they’ve paid a ton to players who aren’t on the roster anymore. In fact, the Rams have eaten three of the biggest dead cap charges in NFL history.
They took on $22.2 million for Jared Goff in 2021, $21.8 million in 2020 for Brandin Cooks and $20.15 million across two seasons for Todd Gurley.
In total, the Rams swallowed $38.5 million in dead money in 2020 and $49.4 million in 2021. Do you remember what happened during the 2021 season? Los Angeles won the Super Bowl after biting the bullet and trading Goff despite his massive dead cap charge.
Even last year the Rams had $26.7 million in dead money on the books, led by Robert Woods’ $11.9 million charge after he was traded to Tennessee. There are ways to overcome dead cap, and the Rams have proved that time and time again.
Keep that in mind in the event that they purge their roster of these high-priced veterans. It doesn’t mean the sky is falling or that they’ll be handcuffed financially for years to come.
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