LA Rams unexpectedly clear 5 roster spots: Are signings imminent?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams’ next moves: Finance

The LA Rams have cleared sufficient roster space to begin to add players to positions that are more urgent for training camp and perhaps to compete for a roster spot. So what else is needed? Ah yes, money. That’s not unusual for the LA Rams, as the team tends to make active use of their full annual salary cap allotment.

Right now, the LA Rams have $45,425,000 tied up in the combined salaries of DL Aaron Donald and WR Cooper Kupp, or approximately 22.49 percent of the entire team’s salary cap. The Rams are working to renegotiate both contracts, with the expressed intention of increasing their AAV (average annual value). But at the same time, the Rams will likely be working to shave 2022 salary cap dollars.


Dollars and sense

I won’t bore you with the minutia. Simply stated, if the Rams convert dollars from salary (all hits this year) to bonus (spread over the life of the contract), the Rams can shave a significant amount of cap space out of this year. Why? Well, once the Rams have a sufficient war chest built up, then the team can upgrade their search away from undrafted rookies to veterans.

How much could the Rams free up? Well, that is likely why the negotiations for the two new contracts have been reportedly progressing but by the same token have not come to fruition. The Rams and agents are likely engaged in the fine details of how many years, how much compensation, and how much to spread vs. how much to keep in player salary. Oh, and then there is the entire ‘guaranteed salary’ part that is always slow trekking. But let’s just spitball a scenario where the LA Rams have reworked both contracts and have added another $25 million to the available cap space for 2022. What then?