The LA Rams already spent most of the 2022 NFL salary cap

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

If you have been following along with the LA Rams, and the overall NFL, you no doubt are fully aware of the news about the NFL projected salary cap. But for those who do not have their ear to the wall on the topic, or simply for those who enjoy a quick refresher, the NFL resets their annual salary cap each year

How they do so is where many fall off the edge. The annual salary cap is based on the revenue generated by ticket sales, sale of merchandise, and television revenues.  Then, the league distributes pools of dollars based on various revenue-sharing algorithms. The most commonly recognized formula is that which sets the amount of money set aside for the NFL salary cap, raising the share for the cap from 47 percent to 48 percent.

What does that mean on a per-year increase?  Well, for 2022, it projects as a $25.7 million increase or an increase for each team’s maximum by 14.2 percent.

So where does that leave the LA Rams roster, which has had to do plenty of kicking the can down the road due to salary cap shortfalls in 2021? Probably not as well off as you may suspect. You see, the Rams will be allowed to add any unspent cap money from 2021 to that maximum number. Then, the team will immediately need to reduce that amount by contract clauses that were paid from 2021 but were not deemed as likely (Think of the DeSean Jackson incentives).

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Rams roster impacted by the salary cap

That means that there is a range of where the Rams will likely end up. For the Over The Cap folks,  they project the LA Rams to have approximately $2.5 million available. Estimates from Spotrac are in at $3.1 million available. That’s not a lot of money to be dangling in front of players looking to get paid, particularly not those who have played for the team for less than one full season.

Of course, there are ways to free up cap space, and those options will be on the palette for the LA Rams front office.  One of the best news items available is the fact that the LA Rams will finally be out from under the massive dead cap space that has suffocated the team’s ability to adjust their roster. Per Spotrac, the team’s dead cap space will plummet from $46,087,550 in 2021 to only $242, 002 in 2022.

Of course, cap space is only one of the relevant components to building a roster. The LA Rams currently project to have 44 players under contract at the start of the new 2022 NFL season. That is the fourth-highest number of returning players in the league. The team will also likely be returning 17 practice squad players to compete for roster spots in 2022. So the Rams will need to add 29 players to round out their 90-player roster.

Who will those be? Ah yes, another topic for another day.

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