5 moves to free $80 million – LA Rams path to more salary cap space

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM) /
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(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Step 2 – Extend Jalen Ramsey

The Rams traded a boatload of  NFL draft picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the services of cornerback Jalen Ramsey.  While Ramsey is not yet due to enter free agency, he remains a top priority for the team this off-season.  After all, it’s clear that the Rams did not trade for him to watch him walk away a year later.

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So the Rams need to sign him to a new contract.  Right now, Spotrac.com estimates the average per year at approximately $16.8 million. Right now, the team has Ramsey at $13.7 million.  So that seems like a cap hit, right?  Well there is that magic of writing salary cap contracts again.

If the Rams are savvy, the team can get Jalen Ramsey signed to a new contract, and end up reducing his 2020 salary cap hit.  How?  Let’s examine contract clauses for the NFL salary cap.
To get Ramsey his money now, but lower his 2020 salary cap, the Rams can structure the contract to spread more money to the future.  How?  Well we know that his average annual amount is $16.8, so over five years, the contract is $94 million.  That’s our number.  Let’s start with a base salary of $7 million per year, netting him $35 million over five years.

Now we want to get him money up front, so create a $20 million signing bonus paid in 2020. Total contract now is $55 million.  The remaining $39 million becomes roster bonuses paid in each of next four seasons: $9 million 2021, $10 million 2022, $10 million 2023, $10 million 2024.

His 2020 cap hit is $7 million, plus $20 million / 5 years or $4 million. Ramsey pockets $27 million this year, and the cost to the Rams is just $11 million for 2020.  $2.7 million savings to the salary cap.  That’s now $70.7 million free space, and we’re not done just yet.