How LA Rams can create over $65 million more cap space entering free agency

Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / John McCoy/GettyImages
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VI: Savings of $7.7 million ($7.7 million total)

The act of creating salary cap space is not a magic trick. It's the same basic principal as your own home budget if you set aside a certain amount to save at your bank, credit union, or savings & loan on a regular basis. Restructuring a contract does not eliminate the payment of money to a player. Rather, it stretches when that payment must be shown in terms of the current year salary cap. Since we are just getting the hang of this, let's start with a relatively easy contrat. If the Rams restructure the contract of starting RT Rob Havenstein, the team can create a savings of $7.7 Million.

Okay, so how can that be?

The current contract for Havenstein extends through 2025, plus two void years that allow the team to stretch the salary cap impact of his contract even further. In 2024 Rob Havenstein is due to earn a salary of $6.5 million, plus a roster bonus of $5 million. Both of those categories fall in the year in which they occur, or in this case, $11.5 million hits 2024. But if the team converts those payments to signing bonuses, the $11.5 million can be spread over the live of the contract. By doing so, the team can move $7,717,500 into future years.

  • 2024 - $7,717,500 savings
  • 2025 - $3,858,750 additional cap hit
  • 2026 (void year) - $3,858,750 additional cap hit

As you can see, it's just kicking the can down the road.

V: Savings of $19.86 million ($27.56 million total)

Okay, now that we have walked through what a restructure looks like with smaller savings, we are ready to restructure QB Matthew Stafford's contract. Stafford is due to impact the team's 2024 salary cap to the tune of $49,500,000. In that number is already a prorated bonus of $18.500,000 which is being spread from a prior year. But Stafford is also due a salary in 2024 of $31,000,000.

Just like Havenstein, if the team converts Stafford's salary into a 2024 signing bonus the team can spread that amount across the life of his contract, which extends through 2026. That shifts $19,860,000 from 2024 into future years (as did that of Haventein's contract. Once more, the money will still be paid out in 2024. The only change is the category of how the team recognizes those payments.

So far, the Rams are up to just under $28 million in saving,. Let's keep going.