LA Rams have mastered the art of NFL contract writing
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams have learned their lessons about the NFL salary cap. That’s a very good thing because the team struggled after the 2018 NFL season due to the challenges of miswriting contracts and overcompensating players. But that appears to be all behind them now.
It’s often about money, isn’t it? That fundamental block of prestige, power, comfort, and affluence, is the element of the NFL that is truly used to determine the hierarchy of eliteness across the spectrum of players. And yet, while we understand so much about currency in general, NFL fans, analysts, insiders, and experts continue to be baffled by the ability of the LA Rams front office to fit so many talented players under the annual salary cap.
A Pink Floyd song entitled Money was released in 1973 and was the sixth track of their Dark Side of the Moon album. Written by bass guitar player Roger Waters, it was the only song from that album to make it into the Top-20 songs of its time. The song opens with lyrics that are curiously descriptive of the LA Rams‘ ability to pay top players top dollar:
"‘MoneyGet awayYou get a good job with more pay and you’re okayMoneyIt’s a gasGrab that cash with both hands and make a stashNew car, caviar, four star, daydreamThink I’ll buy me a football team’ – lyrics from Pink Floyd 1973 song Money"
Think I’ll buy me a football team? Well, not so much, as the value of NFL teams has climbed into the billions of dollars. But the fact is that money has equated to status and appreciation. So the LA Rams have learned how to find the funds to treat elite players to elite salaries.
The fact is that the LA Rams have gotten rather good at writing NFL contracts. Fitting everyone under an annual salary cap is all about keeping deals team-friendly. So far, the LA Rams have done exactly that.
Enough left over to sign one more FA …WR?
So what makes a deal ‘team-friendly’? Well, it’s a contract that puts more cash in a player’s pocket than the salary cap hit on a team’s payroll. The extension for Kupp is actually a three-year extension that adds $80.1 million to his compensation, $75 million of that in guaranteed dollars.
Ian Rapoport breaks it all down for you. If you want to see for yourself, the analysts at Spotrac.com have all the details:
The LA Rams have mastered the art of NFL contract writing. Because the front office has reconstructed the contracts of existing players, and in the process actually lowered the salary cap hit of those contracts for the 2022 NFL season, the Rams have been quietly but consistently creating a mini-war chest of newly available salary-cap space.
As of June 10, 2022, the Rams have freed up nearly $10 million in unclaimed 2022 salary cap space (Per Spotrac.com, the amount is $9,689,523). That could be enough for the front office to re-sign one more player.
Is an Odell Beckham Jr. signing imminent? I would certainly put that high on my list of probable next moves. What do you think could be the LA Rams’ next roster move? Stay tuned…