Rams saved $13M in cap space this year thanks to Stafford, Donald and Kupp deals

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The perception is that when a team hands out a big contract or two in the same offseason, they’re going to be strapped for cash in the immediate future. This year, the Los Angeles Rams proved that’s not exactly the case.

As they have in the past, the Rams managed to actually create cap space in 2022 by extending Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp. They were all already under contract in 2022, but the Rams gave each of them a new contract, and in each instance, their cap hit dropped for this year.

In total, the Rams saved $13.05 million in cap space this year. Here’s how it breaks down, with the 2022 cap savings of each player’s new contract.

  • Matthew Stafford: $13.5M cap hit ($9.5M savings)

  • Aaron Donald: $24M cap hit ($2.7M savings)

  • Cooper Kupp: $17.8M cap hit ($800,000 savings)

  • Total: $13.05 million savings

Of course, the Rams are still paying Stafford, Donald and Kupp more than they were set to make this year, so it’s not as if the Rams are taking money from those guys. They’re able to save cap space because a good portion of each contract comes in the form of a signing bonus, which spreads out the cap hit across the duration of the deal.

Come 2024, all three players will have cap hits of more than $26 million, so the bill is going to come due eventually. It’s just that this year, their cap hits are on the much lower side compared to future seasons.