LA Rams 22 UDFA suddenly extremely vital to team’s future success

(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
LA Rams News
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /

Back to that restructure

When the LA Rams entered the 2020 offseason, we detailed five moves that the team could take to reduce $80 million from the team’s 2020 salary cap.  The team did some steps completely, did some steps partially, and outright avoided some steps. Of course, the main course for the entire cap reduction involved the restructuring of the team’s highest-paid players. But instead, the team took a far different approach.  By releasing veteran running back Todd Gurley, and trading away veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the team assumed the financial penalties for overpaying both players and magnifying that error by guaranteeing so much of their salary.

Read. LA Rams boast 5 players ripe for Pro Bowl seasons. light

At the time of that article, the Rams had $20 million in available space. But the cumulative dead cap effect of separating from both players in the same season amounts to $33.5 million. Factoring in the additional unexpected cap hit of cutting OLB Clay Matthews and the Rams salary cap hit of $35.5 million this year seems…unwise. The Rams did not trade either Rob Havenstein or Malcolm Brown yet. But they are by no means safe just yet, either.

Restructure road reopens

But the opportunity to push today’s dollars into tomorrow remains a viable option. In a must-do scenario, the Rams could restructure (not cut, just change the timing of recognizing the cap hit) the contracts of Jared Goff, Aaron Donald, Tyler Higbee, Robert Woods, and Andrew Whitworth to generate the salary cap move to shave $40 million from 2020, simply by pushing that into the future.

light. Trending. 4 players from NFL Free Agency to amp LA Rams for training camp

Of course, the Rams could also have shaved the 2020 salary cap hit by extending CB Jalen Ramsey.  Our original scenario generated a savings of nearly $7 million a year while lining Ramsey’s pockets today and for the foreseeable future.  But even as we point to the options of last resort, there are other ways for the team to build in some salary flexibility. Look to players signed after the NFL draft to fill the roles with the team.