LA Rams skill players need to share the wealth

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams have placed far too much of the teams salary cap into the hands of far too few players.To win, those players need to work on restructuring those contracts to allow the team to afford key roster additions

The current roster of the LA Rams is uncomfortably stratified. The team’s roster is built on different principals, which in turn has created two separate layers. The have’s, and the have not’s.  The players who “have” on the Rams roster are some of the most highly compensated players in the NFL at their position. On the team’s roster, just five players are consuming over 50 percent of the team’s annual salary cap allotment

Those players who fall into the have-not’s category are trying to land a big payday in the future. Those 40ish players consume less than 50 percent of the team’s annual salary cap allotment. The Rams project to lose a number of very talented football players who mean a great deal to the team and have earned the opportunity for a new multi-year contract.

Unfortunately, that big paycheck will likely have the logo of a different NFL team.  There isn’t much left in the LA Rams piggy bank to dish out to the other deserving players.

The five top paid players for the Rams are:

QB Jared Goff –         cap hit $36,042,682
DT Aaron Donald –   cap hit $25,000,000
RB Todd Gurley –      cap hit $17,250,000
WR Brandin Cooks – cap hit $16,800,000
CB Jalen Ramsey –    cap hit $13,703,000

Total Cap used                      $108,799,642

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Contrast that with 33 players on the Rams roster projected to earn under $1,000,000 apiece, and you begin to see the problem. While there is a solid argument to make over Aaron Donald being worth every penny of his $25 million, the same cannot be said for any of the others.  CB Jalen Ramsey is anticipated to be worth that much to the Rams. But the 2019 results for Goff, Gurley, and Cooks suggests anything but lofty NFL salaries.  So it would be in everyone’s best interest for these players to voluntarily rework their deals to free up cap space.

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Reworking contracts is not new for NFL highly paid players.  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had agreed to rework his contract in the past. So too did Aaron Rodger’s contract get reworked by the Green Bay Packers. For successful teams to remain competitive, it’s really in everyone’s interest to forego the prestige of “highest paid in NFL” to ensure the team can effectively pay quality teammates.

While I cannot speak for Jared Goff, I would imagine he would be very interested in saving salary cap space for the Rams to allow them to pay quality free agents to play on the offensive line.  So too should Gurley and Cooks concede regression in 2019 by surrendering some of their cap space consumption to allow the team to bolster the line and re-sign productive teammates.

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It’s very clear that the Rams will make players very rich.  Now it’s upon the top five players to ensure others share a piece of the wealth in 2020.