How will LA Rams handle revised salary cap floor of $180 million?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams finally have some semblance of a 2021 salary cap number to work with. Well, a better one at least.  The NFL and NFLPA had previously agreed to set a minimum salary cap for the 2021 NFL season at $175 million. To understand why that was both necessary and significant, we need to take a bit of a detour. How is the NFL Salary cap calculated?

Well, thankfully, we did most of the heavy lifting on that topic in a previous article entitled LA Rams salary cap: The setting stage for 2021. If you haven’t checked it out before, it’s recommended that you do so now. We’ll wait.

Welcome back!  Now, back to our discussion. The LA Rams, like all other NFL teams, faced a 2021 NFL season with a minimum salary cap of $175 million. But due to a recent conversation among NFL and NFLPA officials, that minimum has been raised by $5 million to $180 million for 2021.  Now, why is that a big deal?

For the optimistic lovers, increasing the floor suggests that the NFL and NFLPA are relatively convinced that no egregious accounting errors are laying in wait, and that the revenue sharing model that produces the NFL salary cap based on 48 percent of the revenues will result in a solid, if not spectacular salary cap for 2021. Per, they are estimating $185 million as the 2021 salary cap.

In that scenario, the LA Rams are one of 11 NFL teams with a deficit for 2021. And of the teams’ available cap space, the Rams are now ranked 30th with a deficit of over $25 million and dead cap money of over $30 million. Only the Philadelphia Eagles have a larger dead cap hit in 2021 at over $40 million.

Of course, even a higher than expected salary cap for the 2021 NFL season will likely still require the Rams to shave salary expense, it does help to alleviate the pressure for some of the more painful measures that the team is no doubt contemplating.

Also of note is the fact that the LA Rams have 63 players signed, which is the fourth most in the NFL right now. On the other side of the spectrum is a team like the Atlanta Falcons, whose roster is made up of just 39 players, but are still sitting at over $11 million in excess of the estimated 2021 NFL salary cap.

Hot. 5 projected waived Eagles who could be gold for the LA Rams in 2021. light

Yes, the Rams have some work to do. But with a more robust 2021 salary cap, perhaps it won’t hurt nearly as much as expected.