How much money can the LA Rams afford to spend in free agency in 2024?

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Because the LA Rams reeled in their purchasing of players in 2023, the presumption for Rams fans is that the Rams have a nearly unlimited amount of disposable cash to throw into the NFL Free Agency market at the end of this season. While the Rams will have a tidy sum of money to spend next season, this is as good of a time as any to sort out the financial fitness of the Rams organization, and target what is realistic for the team in terms of shopping for new players.

As of right now, the Rams are projected to lose only 16 players due to expired contracts. But let's push a pin on that topic for now. Right now. let's tackle just how much money the LA Rams have to spend in 2024. As of 8:00 am on Saturday, December 16, that number is estimated to be approximately $44 million. That is arrived at by surveying's estimated $45.725 million and's estimated $43.089 million. So yes, the Rams have some money to play with in 2024.

As of right now, the LA Rams are projected as the 12th most free salary cap space in 2024 among the 32 NFL teams. That is quite a change for a team that had to swallow as much as $75 million in dead cap space in 2023. The Rams are projected to have less than $1 million in dead cap space in 2024. That is where the free salary cap space is coming from.

Now let's apply what we know about the 2024 Rams roster

But not all of that money is 'spendable.' Let me explain. You see, the LA Rams hold 10 draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. As of now, those picks fall one apiece in Rounds 1-3, none in Round 4, two in Round 5, three in Round 6, and two in Round 7. Per, the Rams will need to set aside a draft pool of dollars of nearly $12 million. That brings the Rams down to $33 million of spendable cap space.

Now we have to consider how much of a buffer the Rams front office will need to sign free agents over the course of the 2024 NFL season due to injuries or unforeseen opportunities. That should come in at a rough estimate of another $10 million.

That halves the Rams spendable salary cap in half, bringing the team down to $22 million. The Rams currently have 36 players under contract for 2024 and beyond. Factoring in the Rams 10 rookies drafted in 2024, that means that the Rams roster will fall short of the 53-man limit by seven players. It's pretty easy to average $3.2 million per player when adding free agents.

Do the Rams extend existing players?

So where does that leave the Rams in terms of free agency? Well, that's where it gets tricky. You see, the Rams may face the expiring contracts of 16 players, but some of those players have been incredibly effective for the LA Rams this season. You likely already know that starting RG Kevin Dotson's contract expires at the end of this season. But will the Rams enter the bidding war to bring him back next season?

Will the Rams push to extend LT Alaric Jackson? Or backup QB Carson Wentz? Or even WR Demarcus Robinson? What about the heroics of defensive playmakers like DB Ahkello Witherspoon? OLB Michael Hoecht? DE Johan Williams? Or even DT Larrell Murchison? In the end, the Rams have more places to spend cap space than funds to spend.

In the end, the Rams will have some money to spend in the 2024 NFL Free Agency Market. But keep in mind that former kicker Matt Gay signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts that averages $10 million per year against their salary cap space. The $44 million will disappear quickly. For now, the Rams seem to be on the right track by drafting and developing rookies to compete during the four-year inexpensive rookie deals.

After those contracts expire, it's truly anybody's guess whether the Rams re-sign players to return in the future.