If the Rams pause in 2023, could 2024 mean landing USC QB Caleb Williams?

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The LA Rams are known as a team that loves to compete, and for the first five NFL seasons of LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay's tenure, the Rams had been one of the most successful teams in the NFL. With four playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, no losing records, the run of the LA Rams was very close to flawless.

But 2022 arrived, and the wheels fell off the wagon.

Ending the 2022 season with nearly $60 million of the team's payroll on injured reserve is a pretty good way to collapse. But the Rams front office and coaching staff have been quite adept at bobbing and weaving in the offseason to reload and reset, a true testimony to just how competitive the entire Rams organization is.

Can the Rams pause in 2023?

Yet, with an offense that is built around veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, the LA Rams are doing a complete about face. Does it make sense? Perhaps if we knew the discussions that are taking place in the offices behind closed doors. But few are privy to those talks. And even those that are are sworn to secrecy.

What we are left with is reading between the lines. What lines are those? Well, we know that the LA Rams released All-Pro veteran inside linebacker Bobby Wagner as a cost-cutting move, now known to be a post-June 1 release. That means that the Rams will save $8 million on their 2023 NFL Salary Cap. Now, we have learned that the LA Rams are in serious discussions over trading All-Pro veteran defensive back Jalen Ramsey. If the team trades Ramsey before June 1, the team will realize $5.8 million in savings. If the trade gets a post-June 1 designation, the team will save $17 million against their 2023 NFL salary cap.

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What is this all about? Well, the LA Rams have hit an impasse. And it appears that in order to dig themselves out of a hole, they will need to hit the pause button and focus on building a new and better foundation. What exactly does that mean?