5 contracts holding Rams back right now

While the team has some money to spend, the 2024 offseason is by no means smooth sailing. Here are 5 player contracts that pose unique challenges, and may be holding the Rams back rignt now from taking action in other directions

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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V: How long can this player perform at a Pro Bowl level?

The first contract that we must consider is that of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. His contract will hit the team's 2024 salary cap hit for $49.5 million. While that may appear to be a rather lofty number, it's really in line with what NFL starting quarterbacks are earning right now. Kirk Cousins, the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback, is projected to sign a new contract via the 2024 NFL Free Agency market in the neighborhood of $40 million.

And he has not led his team to a Super Bowl victory.

The challenge with Matthew Stafford is not the amount of compensation that he is receiving. It's the fact that the Rams are on the hook through thick or thin with him. Because Stafford has reached the ripe old age of 36+ years, there is the mounting number of questions over how long can he continue to perform at a Pro Bowl level. Clearly, he was more than capable of doing so in 2023. But the decline of any NFL player's performance is seldom a gradual slope.

Frequently, the drop in production is quite dramatic and can be triggered by a serious injury that seems to linger well after the healing process has been completed. The Rams have Stafford under contract through 2026 and continue to compensate him north of $36+ million annually over that time frame.

If Stafford continues to perform as well as he has so far, it's a good value contract. But if Father Time creeps up on the venerable hurler, the Rams are anchored to a contract that will quickly fall from fair value to significant overpay, almost instantly.