2023 NFL Draft: Rams draft strategy and why so many underestimate Les Snead
More money matters concerning the 2023 NFL Draft
There is more to factor into any NFL Draft analysis by the LA Rams than purely the prospect selected. While few concern themselves with the overall salary cap implications of when the LA Rams make their draft selections, if you plan to hold the Rams past drafts against them like the sword of Diomedes, then you must factor in the benefits of trading back.
During the offseason, NFL teams are held accountable for their Top-51 player salaries. And so its only those players who annual salary are greater than 39 other players who fall into the salary cap calculation. So what is the difference to the LA Rams if they chose one player at 36, or a player at 42 and 110?
Don't discount the way the Rams view the draft and free agency
In 2023, the minimum NFL salary for a player with two years of service is $940,000. That is very important because it is a good estimation of the cutoff for players whose salaries will impact the 51-man salary cap calculation. If the LA Rams stand pat at 36, their rookie is estimated to be paid an annual salary of $1.74 million, or $800k above the threshold. But if the Rams trade back to 42 and add a player at 110, the estimated impact of those two players is $656k and ($16k), for a net salary cap impact of just $640k.
That means that the by trading back in the draft, the Rams have increased the amount of available salary cap to pay existing players, or to add a new NFL free agent to the roster. How do we calculate the success of those additional roster moves that were only possible due to the fact that the Rams were willing to trade back in the draft, select more rookies, and tuck additional salary cap funds away for free agent signings?