4 LA Rams players who could be cut after the 2023 NFL Draft
By Bret Stuter
Starting tight end?
It was not slip of the tongue or accidental oversight that occured when LA Rams decision makers repeatedly called out the names of QB Matthew Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, and DL Aaron Donald as the 'weight-bearing walls,' throughout the LA Rams roster renovation. Nor was it a slip of the tongue not to name starting tight end Tyler Higbee among the veterans who are not going anywhere.
The truth is, he could. Or he may not. It all depends on what the LA Rams do in the 2023 NFL Draft. After all, the team did casually add a young tight end to the roster by the name of Hunter Long as compensation for parting ways with DB Jalen Ramsey. While we do not yet know the extent of his role this season, the Rams hopefully did not add him to the roster to sit on the bench.
2023 salary savings do help 2024 payroll
If the LA Rams need to find additional savings, the team is likely not interested in trying to find that savings among any of the team's three key players. That means the team will begin searching for savings with RT Rob Havenstein, followed by tight end Tyler Higbee. As of right now, Higbee is in the last year of his current contract to play for the LA Rams, and is due to make a salary cap impact of $9.125,000 in the 2023 NFL season.
While some of that consists of bonuses and other monies paid in previous years, Higbee's current year salary of $6.25 million is a rather robust number for a veteran on the Rams roster right now. If the team is as financially-phobic as the recent Rams roster transactions appear to be, then selecting a tight end rookie on Day 2 could spell the end of the line for one of the team's tight ends.
The money side of the equation is clear: Tyler Higbee yields more savings than Brycen Hopkins. But if there is no direct savings in 2024, why would the Rams do so? Well, any savings to the 2023 NFL season is automatically carried over to next year's salary cap. So saving now does mean saving later.
Do I endorse this type of strategy? No. Do I like what the LA Rams have chosen to do? Not exactly. But I do get tightening the belt to pay down the credit card bills. And I will always choose to take a positive outlook on the LA Rams whenever possible.
After all, why choose otherwise?