Which players will get a Qualifying Tender Offer from the LA Rams?

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Tik Tok, Tik Tok. Can you hear the sounds of another NFL season ending and a new season beginning? If you can’t, that is okay. You can bet that the LA Rams personnel department hears the clock ticking like the tympanic crescendo of a kettle drum from the end of a symphony orchestra performance. And it’s getting louder with each passing hour.

That is due to the fact that with the arrival of the new 2022 NFL season at 1:00 pm PT on March 16, 2022, some deadlines arrive as well.  And for the LA Rams, those deadlines are very important:

  • At 1:00 pm PT, all 2021 LA Rams player contracts expire.
  • Prior to 1:00 pm PT, the LA Rams must be under the 2022 salary cap of $208.2 million (top 51 rule).
  • Prior to 1:00 pm PT, the LA Rams must submit qualifying offers to restricted free agents with expiring contracts in order to retain a right of first refusal/compensation.
  • Prior to 1:00 pm PT, the LA Rams must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2020 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

That’s a lot of work in the next eight days, 20 hours or so. In fact, it’s a lot of work for any website out to cover the LA Rams options. But we’ve been busy, and have a number of key references and resources at your disposal.

Rams free agency resources

For starters, there is always the need to refresh our familiarity with the nuances of the NFL Free Agency market, and the quirks, jargon, and terminology that is unique and only dusted off once a year for teams.  To get everyone up to snuff, we’ve compiled the terms and definitions that we scramble to look up this time of year in our 2022 LA Rams free agency primer.

In terms of the big picture and tracking the comings and goings of LA Rams players this off-season, we’ve got you covered there too. We’ve already poured a lot of work into our 2022 LA Rams Free Agency Tracker, and we’ve been getting some positive feedback so far. Of course, when the rumor and confirmed reports hit simultaneously, it will be critical to focus upon getting it right, rather than getting it first.

We know that the LA Rams have not been active historically in free agency. The Rams have re-signed players, but typically not in great volumes or at a pace of headlining NFL news media. In fact, as bold as the LA Rams have been in trading for elite players, they are almost subtle in the way that the team plays their hand in free agency. But this year, the Rams roster almost needs a greater effort in free agency, which makes this off-season quite vital to the team.  Vital, but make no mistake. The Rams have the pieces already assembled to make another run at an NFL Championship.

Qualifying Tender Offers

Even as the LA Rams must clear the red out of their projected 2022 NFL Salary Cap over the next eight days, that won’t be enough to do it. For the LA Rams to have a fighting chance of re-signing players like Odell Beckham Jr, Von Miller, 2022 NFL Drafted rookies, and a host of contract extensions for Exclusive Rights Free Agents and Restricted Free Agents, the Rams will need to clear out much more than their current (-$19,817,364) deficit.

The LA Rams will need to clear a minimum of $30 million on top of the nearly $20 million deficit just to have a solid beachhead to make all of the necessary Qualifying Tender Offers (QTO) and contracts to key players.  So that brings us back to the topic at hand. Which players will get a QTO from the LA Rams by the deadline?

Well, we’re in luck there as well, as we’ve done a bit of groundwork about each of the five ERFA and RFA players who qualify for special treatment by the LA Rams, and ranked them in terms of priority.  The LA Rams must make decisions about:

  • PK Matt Gay (RFA)
  • QB John Wolford (ERFA)
  • ILB Travin Howard (ERFA)
  • IOL Coleman Shelton (RFA)
  • ILB Troy Reeder (RFA)

Now the question is, who will the Rams secure before the deadline? Right now, I’d say that the Rams will offer the Minimal Qualifying Tender Offer to both John Wolford and Travin Howard, and make Right of First Refusal Qualifying Tender Offers to both Matt Gay and Coleman Shelton.

That leaves only Troy Reeder to test the waters of NFL Free Agency, and the Rams could even sign and trade him along the lines of the NBA strategy.

While these moves may not be sexy or exciting, they are vital to ensure that the Rams have competent players to rely upon when the 2022 NFL season arrives. And while they are less expensive, the cumulative impact of extending just four players will tack on another $7-8 million to the LA Rams salary cap at a minimum. It’s that time of year when money truly matters. The LA Rams will certainly focus on getting the most bang for their buck.

Who do you think the Rams will extend via Qualifying Tender Offers?

Trending. Will LA Rams re-sign Von Miller? Flip a coin, as it’s likely 50/50. light