Does LA Rams' newfound salary cap space mean imminent FA signing? 3 answers - Too hot, too cold, just right

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
1 of 4

If you haven't been following the narrative for the LA Rams 2023 season, or if you have just crawled out from under a rock, you may have missed the fact that the LA Rams' financial fitness is being put through its paces this offseason. While that is not an alarming strategy per se, it is radically different from the "See player, want player, trade/sign player" mantra of the team's more recent past. The LA Rams have not been following that playbook this year.

The reason is simply this: The LA Rams have been paying today's players with tomorrow's dollars, and that strategy worked well enough to appear in the Super Bowl in two of Rams head coach Sean McVay's first five seasons. But that all came to a hard halt in 2022, when the Rams roster was devastated by injuries and the front office simply ran out of funds.

And that has been the case of the Rams' salary cap status for the early stages of the 2023 NFL season. Despite a lightly populated roster before the draft, the team adhered to an almost mendicant budget that was already consumed by over $70 million of dead cap. Until now, that has been the case for this LA Rams team, limiting spending to all by the least expensive and most necessary players.

Breaking the Rams piggy bank

The LA Rams had resisted restructuring contracts because doing so does not create cap space overall, but merely transfers today salary expense into the future. But in the case of push coming to shove, the Rams had to acquiesce and created additional 2023 salary cap savings by converting $13.92 million of base salary of WR Cooper Kupp's compenasation into a signing bonus. Kupp still gets paid the same amount, but the maneuver allows the Rams to push $10.44 million of today's cap expense into the future.

Of course, the act has ignited the imaginations of so many who have bee waiting for a sign, any sign, that the Rams are building another war chest to finance more player acquisitions.

After all, the LA Rams are just 85 players strong at a point in time when they have the right to work with 90 players. Some teams exceed the 90-player limit, as drafted players who are not yet signed do not appear on the NFL official roster, and yet for, they are factored into the number of players.

15 Greatest FAs. Los Angeles Rams: 15 greatest free agent acquisitions of all-time. dark. More

And as of June 15, 2023, estimates the LA Rams salary cap for 2023 to have created over $13 million of available spending money. That sounds like a healthy stack of Benjamins to lure a free agent to sign on the Rams roster, right? Well, not exactly.