Houston, we have a problem. Did the LA Rams paint themselves into a currency corner?

Les Snead
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There is no deadline for adding players. For the LA Rams, that's good news. While the 2023 NFL Free Agency Market has just opened, the Rams are already lagging well behind other NFL teams when it comes to building their new rosters. In fact, we are now officially in the 2023 NFL season, and the LA Rams are the only team who have fewer than half of their 90-man rosters under contract.

In fact, as of 3:00 pm PT on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the LA Rams only have 44 players under contract, and with just 44 players the Rams have $8 million in available salary cap space. I hate to share the bad news, but even if the LA Rams commit to adding 46 players to minimal contracts, the first seven players to be added will cost the Rams over $8 million, and the team will be in violation of the 2023 NFL salary cap limitations.

Per Spotrac.com, the Rams' 44 players are the fewest number of players under contract in the entire league., The runner-up teams are the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs with 51 players. Ironically, the Chiefs at 51 players have nearly as much free salary cap space as the Rams with 44 players. And per league rules, the off-season NFL team payroll is calculated by the Top-51 players.

Houston, we have a problem

That all translates into some very glum news for LA Rams fans. Unlike every other NFL team, every player added to the Rams roster from now until the Rams reach that 51-player threshold is going to add payroll dollars to the Rams roster that will instantly count against the salary cap.

The Rams did not want to cut eight players from their Reserve/Future contracts. The Rams had to do so, or risk exceeding the financial ceiling that went into effect at the start of the new 2023 NFL season. Right now, even at 44 players on the roster, the Rams have just $8 million. and they free up more space? Yes. But with the LA Rams looking more and more like a total rebuild team, how many of their remaining veterans are going to be willing to restructure their contracts knowing that the future is now far more uncertain?

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The LA Rams are not in great financial shape at the moment. In fact. the Rams made it under the wire by freeing up $9 million in salary cap space by restructuring the contract for offensive lineman Joe Noteboom, but the Rams only have $8 million is available salary cap space for now. That means that without Noteboom's cooperation, the Rams would have been in a desperate situation. Even with his help, the Rams do not appear to be any better than a bad situation.