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
5 of 6

II: This backup earns more than the starter

Our next stop is the contract of backup center Brian Allen. When his contract was negotiated, Allen was the presumed starting center for the LA Rams. But an injury plagued 2022 NFL season opened the door for the team to reconsider his role, and he was ultimately demoted to a backup role in 2023. Right now, his 2024 salary cap hit comes in at $7.29 million. Curiously, he earned more as a backup than starting center Coleman Shelton did in 2023.

I simply cannot see the front office allowing that inequitable salary to continue into 2024.

Allen had worked very hard to return from a devastating injury in 2019 that benched him through the 2020 season, so I do not mean to thrown any shade or dissension his way. But his level of performance for the team since signing a three-year $18 million extension has not stayed on par with his compensation.

The team may have some salary cap to spend in 2024, but there simply is not enough surplus salary cap on the books to overpay a backup offensive lineman. While I do believe that Brian Allen makes a solid backup center for the team, the value for that role is $2-3 million, not $7.3 million. Will Allen and his agent agree to a pay cut? If not, the Rams have no other choice than to part ways with the feisty veteran.

$5 million of overspending on one player may not seem like much. But the Rams front office was able to sign up to five veteran players to contracts in 2023 for that amount. And it's almost impossible to argue that the performance of DB Ahkello Witherspoon, RB Royce Freeman, WR Demarcus Robinson, or IOL Kevin Dotson were not far more beneficial to the team.

The team only has so many salary cap dollars to go around. I believe that money saved from lowing Brian Allen's cost in 2024 can be used to re-sign starting center Coleman Shelton for another season.