LA Rams clearing cap space in time for 1:00 pm PST NFL deadline
The LA Rams must balance their books in time to be under the 2022 NFL Salary Cap ceiling by 1:00 pm PDT today, March 16, 2022. While the Rams Free Agency activities have been focused upon extending offensive linemen for 2022 and beyond, the team has needed to clear at least $40 million off the books.
Why so much?
The Rams began with a deficit of over $20 million. Since that time, the team has re-signed three offensive linemen, has extended a one-year Qualifying Tender Offer to RFA kicker Matt Gay (worth $2.43 million), must have enough space to extend minimal qualifying offers to ERFAs QB John Wolford and ILB Travin Howard, and still have enough space left over to sign additional FAs like OLB Von Miller, WR Odell Beckham Jr., plus have enough space to sign 2022 NFL Draft rookies.
All in all, the Rams have plenty of work outstanding to clear sufficient cap space. But the team is more of a behind-the-scenes type, opting to do all of the work and then simply show up at the NFL deadline with plenty of cap space. That means that we seldom learn how the Rams have gotten there.
Well, this year, we have some clues:
The LA Rams cleared just over $2 million by releasing P Johnny Hekker
The LA Rams cleared an estimated $16 million with the retirement of OT Andrew Whitworth
Now, it appears that the Rams have cleared an additional $12 million in cap space by reworking outside linebacker Leonard Floyd’s contract, as per the report from ESPN’s NFL Insider, Field Yates:
All in all, that adds up to $30 million in freed up salary-cap space. While we do not yet know who else may have been restructured or renegotiated, we do know that these actions will be enough to clear the deadline. Right now, Spotrac.com places the Top-51 of the Rams at a deficit of ($8,204,599). If the Rams add back $12 million but then assign $2.54 to a Qualifying Tender Offer (for ILB Travin Howard), the Rams will squeak by at just over $1.2 million in available salary-cap space to start the new 2022 NFL season.
The LA Rams are not ‘finished’ just yet. From what we know, the team has done enough to clear just enough to get under the ceiling in time for today’s deadline. To do more than that, the Rams will need to come up with more savings.