Money can buy happiness in the NFL
Yes, the LA Rams can make moves to free up over $80 million of salary-cap space, as long as the players agree to do so. Despite this being a top priority this off-season, there has been no indication that the team will do so with anyone. That leaves the Rams with few options, but some very tough choices.
If the Rams had enough available salary-cap space, the team could actively pursue re-signing ILB Cory Littleton, OLB Dante Fowler Jr., DE Michael Brockers, ILB Bryce Hager, OT Andrew Whitworth, C Austin Blythe, and K Greg Zuerlein. The players would be happy to return, the organization would be happy to welcome them back, and the fans would be delighted to have so many integral players remain in Rams’ jerseys for the 2020 NFL season. To get enough money to do so, the Rams must be willing to make tough choices.
The team is scheduled to part ways with up to 18 players due to expired contracts, some of whom were key contributors to the team’s success. Tough choices indeed, and each year those choices become tougher. When the Rams committed over 50 percent of the team’s annual salary cap to five players, the hope was to assure the team held onto the best available players in the NFL.
In 2019, Goff, Gurley, and Cooks all had markedly poorer showings than they had previously. The same players who signed for significant guaranteed pay failed to produce results in 2019. The LA Rams gambled on four veteran players and lost the gamble in three of the four contracts. Those players got paid, yes. But four of the five were not the best in the NFL. Only a contract extension to defensive tackle Aaron Donald made sense. He was an annual All-Pro player.