Rams salary cap update after initial wave of moves

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Cameron DaSilva
·3 min read
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It’s been a fairly quiet first week of free agency for the Los Angeles Rams. They’ve suffered more losses than additions and have primarily been working to get their salary cap situation under control.

They entered the week more than $33 million over the salary cap, needing to get under the $182.5 million limit by Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. They did just that, announcing they were under the cap on Tuesday afternoon.

Now that Matthew Stafford’s contract is officially on the books, Michael Brockers is gone and Leonard Floyd’s cap hits have been established, where do the Rams stand in terms of spending money?

Current cap space

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

According to Over The Cap, the Rams are still $18.7 million over the limit - which is obviously not up to date. That's because OTC’s calculations only include two of the five restructures that the Rams have reportedly done: Jalen Ramsey and Robert Woods. It doesn’t include Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp or Andrew Whitworth, who all reportedly restructured their deals before the deadline. So if you factor in those three transactions, the Rams would clear another $26.3 million. That would give them $7.65 million in cap space, according to OTC’s salary cap calculator. With $7.65 million to spend, it would put them 19th in the NFL in terms of estimated cap space, up from where they currently sit (31st). This calculation includes Brockers’ contract coming off the books (2.67 million in dead money), Jared Goff’s dead cap hit of $24.7 million, Darious Williams’ $4.77 million first-round tender and Floyd’s $3.33 million dead cap charge from the void year on his previous contract.

How much space is needed for the rookie class?

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams must leave some room for their rookie class, of course. Over The Cap estimates that the Rams’ effective cap space needed to sign their draft class is only $1.02 million. That’s calculated by multiplying their total number of picks (6) by $660,000, and subtracting that sum from the total rookie pool of $4,981,056. The reason is that each draft pick will replace a player already counting against the cap as part of the top-51 rule. So the total space needed is much less than the sum of the rookies’ 2021 cap hits. So if you subtract $1.02 million from their estimated cap space of $7.65 million, you get $6.63 million in spending money as of now. It’s not much, but it puts them in better shape than they were in to begin the week.

How else can they create more cap space?

Now, the question becomes, what’s next? How can the Rams create even more cap space to sign free agents? They can start by either extending Stafford’s contract or simply restructuring it. Restructuring would clear about $12.3 million this year, which would put the Rams close to $19 million in effective cap space. They could also cut Kenny Young to save another $2.18 million, putting them over $20 million in cap space. It’s unlikely that A’Shawn Robinson will be released after Brockers was traded, but cutting him after June 1 would save $3.75 million. If Austin Blythe returns, Brian Allen could be cut to save $920,000 – though releasing him seems unlikely. Signing Williams to an extension to lower his cap hit from the first-round tender ($4.77 million) is another possibility. There aren’t many ways left for the Rams to create cap space, but as they stand right now, they have enough money to sign a few more free agents, as well as their draft class. Just don’t expect a big splash in free agency.

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