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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III: Can this player return to his prime time form?

The next contract to consider is that of All-Pro WR Cooper Kupp. Kupp was rewarded for an NFL record season in 2021 with a new contract that reflects his All-Pro status. But since 2021, he has not performed to that level In 2022, injury shortened his season, suppressing his on-field production. The hope was that he would return to form in 2023, but again, injuries limited his playing time, and one more limited his on-field production.

Now the question becomes the uncertainty of his 2024 season. His 2024 salary cap hit is $29.78 million, which could be the third year of significant overpay since he signed a new contract after the 2021 season. Since putting up 1947 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021, he has failed to meet that level of on-field proficiency, even when combining both 2022 and 2023.

The challenge now becomes trying to determine if Kupp can truly return to that 2021 season form once more?

If he can, no harm, no foul. But if the Rams continue to pay for elite production and get far less from Kupp, that becomes a huge problem for the team in 2024 and going forward. So how can we know which version of Kupp will suit up for the new season? The truth is that nobody knows. But that should not prevent the front office from at least pondering renegotiating the current contract to convert some salary and roster bonuses into incentive clauses that offer some performance protection to the team.

As it now stands, the team is getting Courtland Sutton-like production at a cost of 171 percent of Sutton's contract. Am I being too alarmist? Since signing his new contract, Kupp's two year production has been the lowest of his career since his first two NFL seasons. The thing is, those first two years were paid on his rookie contract.

I don't want to throw shade on anyone. But the $30 million spent on Kupp in 2024 is money that cannot be spent on other players. While I do not expect the front office to address this matter, it's truly one of the more challenging contracts on the roster right now.