What The NFL Salary Cap Raise Means For The St. Louis Rams

Jan 22, 2014; Ko


A couple of months ago, there were rumors that the NFL was considering increasing that salary cap, in response to some of the massive television contracts, and to keep up with the increasingly inflating contracts in the NFL. Most projected a modest increase, one that might potentially raise the $123 million cap from the 2013 season to somewhere between $126-127 million. However, in a somewhat unexpected move that began slowly leaking out last night, the NFL blew the ceiling off last year’s salary cap, setting the number at an impressively-high $133 million for the 2014 season, with anticipated large increases in both of the next two season.

What does that mean exactly?

Prior to the massive bump in space, the St. Louis Rams top 51 contacts for the 2014 season were worth approximately $125.5 million. Under the previously-expected salary cap raise ($126 million), the Rams would have been in a awkward position, sitting nearly even with the cap before the free agency period has even begun. As a result, many speculated that the Rams front office would be forced to cut tied with a number of aging veterans in an effort to free up some room to be able to sign (or re-sign) a handful of players in free agency. Now it appears, the St. Louis Rams have much more room to maneuver, potentially having the space to target a “big name” free agent… or more, depending on the decisions they make over the next two weeks.

Just how much money to do the Rams have now?

Currently, St. Louis is sitting roughly $7.3 million under the new 2014 salary cap. That money might be just enough to re-sign an impending free agent, like Rodger Saffold, but would leave absolutely no room for any other free agent signing. However, even that might be a stretch, with the Rams still needing to sign a bounty of 2014 NFL draftees to the roster, including two first round prospects.

However, with a $7.3 million head start, the St. Louis Rams could certainly clear some major space by cutting some of the larger veteran salaries from the roster. The above chart lists the four “prime” targets for a potential cut. As we can see, cutting any one of those players will automatically bump the Rams up into the $11 million under-the-cap range, which would certainly be enough to bring in (or re-sign) one major player, while still having enough left in the bank to pay the future rookies. Taking it to the other extreme, the St. Louis Rams could fit well below the cap by releasing all four veterans. That adjusted figure would send the St. Louis Rams $23.8 million “in the black,” which could open the floodgates for Les Snead, Jeff Fisher, and Gregg Williams in an impressive free agent pool. That is, assuming the Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, could stomach eating $10 million in “dead” contracts.

There is still no hint at how the St. Louis Rams will actually approach free agency this offseason, especially after making such a massive splash with Jake Long and Jared Cook last year. However, with the “new” 2014 salary cap, the Rams certainly have more options to ponder as we quickly approach March.







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  • Dougie Fresh

    I think we cut Dahl & Wells & restructure Finnegan where he plays this year for his dead money (he will do it to stay with fish). That’s 12.5 mill plus the 7.3 we have now. Than restructure long & Laurinaitis where they each push 2 mill back to next years cap & we would have around 25 mill in cap space. Than resign saffold for around 6-7 mill per year prob 4 years & sign either tj ward from Cleveland or Verner from the titans to beef up the secondary. Prob would take 7-8 mill per year for 5 years but we would still have 10 mill left to sign picks & what not. Than draft Robinson & Evans or Watkins & Lewan in the 1st. I like the first two. In the 2nd get the cb or fs we didn’t get in free agency. Round out the draft with depth at guard linebacker & defensive tackle.

  • Calvin G Suddeath

    I have no idea why people keep bringing up Langford when It’s clear the Rams like him.

    • Nathan Kearns

      Because he is the fourth-highest paid defensive player, and yet the fourth-best player (out of four) on the defensive line… maybe fifth, counting William Hayes.

      A concern…

  • Gary Stewart

    imo stan wants to field a winner and he wants to make money they also go hand in hand the rams never sell out (ok never say never) but you get my point… dahl is gone wells is gone bring in finn ask him what he wants to do if its play for like 3-4 mil fine if not cut bait there too as for langford thats a tough one heres my thinking will the rams be able to lock up quinn for 2015?? to keep langford as insurance just in case may not be a bad idea, and fresh bodies is not all that bad, if he would take a cut to 4 mil lets keep him…. so if finn and langford rework then stan has 2 mil dead money he would easily stomach that for a chance to add a player that could help the rams win and put more butts in the seats!!