5 steps to free up $80 Million in LA Rams 2021 NFL salary cap

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams 2021 salary cap
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

What do the LA Rams wish to do?

So the hope for an instant salary cap fix is not happening. But don’t despair. If you haven’t figured it out by now, there are always ways to ‘fix’ the salary cap. It’s a matter of what do the LA Rams ultimately want to do. If the LA Rams intend on re-signing many of their projected free agents this year, they’ll need a war chest of about $40 million to do so. Factoring in paying for the 2021 NFL Draft selections, and a free agent or two, and the Rams will need approximately $80 million of ‘savings’.

But before we get started, this was exactly where the LA Rams found themselves a year ago. At that time, the presumption was that the Rams would want to re-sign their outbound free agents. They did re-sign some players but focused their efforts upon their offensive linemen and undervalued rotational players.

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The belief then was that the Rams had too many salary obligations to cut RB Todd Gurley, to trade any player, or to resign anyone. That wasn’t the case.  In fact, the LA Rams managed to re-sign Jalen Ramsey, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp as well.  When the Rams needed to find the money, the money was found.

So the trick is finding the money. That takes four different forms. To change the salary cap impact in a given season, the Rams must do one of four things:
Trade away a player for a less expensive player – transfer costs to a new team.
Waive a player – end relationship. May trigger guarantees.
Restructure a player’s contract – shift money around without changing amount (timing)
Renegotiate (rework) a player’s contract – renegotiating the entire deal. (change terms)

Those are all the tricks that exist. Now the trick is to decide which of these strategies to apply this year. It takes the right combination