LA Rams VP Tony Pastoors should really take a bow right now
By Bret Stuter
When the LA Rams were stuck in salary cap hell when entering the 2020 NFL season, I wondered how the team had let that happen. Contracts, when correctly written, can include or exclude virtually anything, limited only by the skill of the author. It was an expensive lesson for the Rams, obligated to pay guaranteed monies to players who significantly underperformed those deals.
Over the next two seasons, the LA Rams would cut RB Todd Gurley, would trade WR Brandin Cooks, and would exchange QB Jared Goff (plus picks) with the Detroit Lions for veteran QB Matthew Stafford. So how did the LA Rams handle the dead cap space created by those three transactions? (All figures as per Spotrac.com as of June 7, 2022)
Name 2020 dead cap 2021 dead cap 2022 dead cap
Brandin Cooks $21,800,000 $ 0 $ 0
Todd Gurley 9,250,000 8,400,000 $ 0
Jared Goff 0 $24,700,000 $ 0
Others 7,416,148 $16,335,215 $ 13,522,002
Totals $38,466,148 $49,435,215 $ 13,522,002
NFL contract writing 101
So how did the LA Rams improve their working knowledge of contract writing? Well, that all goes to the credit of LA Rams Vice President of Football and Business Administration, Tony Pastoors. After all, some of the earlier challenges in negotiating into and out of deals fell on his shoulders. And perhaps those earlier experiences have improved his skillful ability to negotiate team-friendly teams as time has passed.
Pastoors is not a name that comes up often in discussions about the LA Rams roster, but perhaps he should get better credit. After all, he was the ghostwriter to the contracts that allowed the LA Rams to add some of the best talents in the NFL to the team that was already strapped for cash. We’ll talk about that soon. In the meantime, we should pause and be a bit appreciative for the guy who, for lack of a better description, makes the money for the LA Rams contracts appear whenever needed.