With the Los Angeles Rams due to open their turnstiles at SoFi Stadium later this summer, it remains to be seen what kind of product the team will bring forward for their inaugural season in the “House that Stan Kroenke built.”
Why, do you ask? There’s a little thing called the salary cap. Not so little to the likes of general manager Les Snead, COO Kevin Demoff, head coach Sean McVay, and to a lesser degree, Kroenke. The mere fact that the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement includes a salary cap, despite the billions of dollars in revenue the NFL generates, and all the iniquities it holds within itself, tends to send even the brightest MIT mathematicians to drink.
The Rams face a dilemma entering the 2020 season. Having spent extraordinarily well for the likes of Aaron Donald, Jared Goff and Todd Gurley to name a few, they now face the NFL offseason, which begins March 11. They have approximately $14,716, 619, according to OverTheCap.com, to pay drafted rookies, free agents and restricted free agents.
It must first be evaluated whether Snead and Demoff overspent to win now. Failing (offensively) in Super Bowl LIII and falling short in 2019, the Rams must consider all options. Should they step back in 2020 and regroup their spending for the 2021 season, offering a foreseeable future of success?
Part of the business end of the offseason includes big-name players renegotiating their contracts in order to provide temporary salary cap relief. There are a few players that could help significantly. If in fact, McVay truly wants to see Dante Fowler, Cory Littleton and Andrew Whitworth return to the team, then team friendly renegotiations from Goff, Gurley and Donald would go a long way.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to play the salary cap game, cutting players to save cap space is a regularly used option.
The New York Giants cut former Ram Alec Ogletree along with Kareem Martin, both linebackers, saving the team approximately $13 million. That’s just $1.7 million short of what the Rams cap space is today. In this money game, sometimes teams must take their lumps to reach their intended goals.
Cutting players like Rob Havenstein, Nickell Robey-Coleman, John Johnson and Josh Reynolds would save the Rams about $10.1 million. Add this to the renegotiated contracts and the team could find some “diamonds in the rough” this offseason.
According to Spotrac.com, the Rams have $184,149,308 in contracts with $23,287,389 in cap space, still more is needed whether you look at Spotrac.com or OverTheCap.com. Either way, will the Rams find the cap to fit nicely, or will they have to adjust accordingly to just put a competitive team on the new SoFi surface in 2020?