LA Rams hard-ball negotiations yields $3.2 million in salary cap space

Les Snead
Les Snead / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

The LA Rams need salary cap space. With just 44 players and available cap space of under $12 million, even the bargains that could be had now in the 2023 NFL Free Agency market remained out of reach of the team's budget. With nearly $10 million needed to sign the projected 2023 NFL Draft class, the team had salary cap space that was all but claimed.

The LA Rams needed more salary cap space. And to do that, the LA Rams have only three options: Trade a player, which places even more pressure on what money is left over to sign a new player, restructure a contract, which defeats the purpose by shoving today's payroll into tomorrow's salary cap space, or renegotiate a player's contract, which lowers payroll expense today, does not add dollars in the future, and does not create another open roster slot.

The Rams chose the latter.

Allen accepts $3 million pay cut

The LA Rams had just signed Brian Allen to a new contract last year. The problem is that Allen has struggled to remain healthy, and as such he played in just seven games for the LA Rams offensive line in 2022. The Rams cannot afford to pay for players to miss so many games, and so the team revisited the contract this year.

In doing so, the Rams shaved a cool $3.2 million off their 2023 salary cap as reported by Over The

Following up on the details, Allen agreed to take a $3 million pay cut for 2023, and in return, the LA Rams have guaranteed $3 million for the 2023 season. Additionally, Allen received a $1 million signing bonus, which will be spread over the remaining life of his contract.

The newly negotiated contract has closed the salary gap between Coleman Shelton ($2.38 m APY) and Brian Allen ($6.1 million APY). While there was some speculation that Allen was at risk of being released by the Rams after June 1st, this newly negotiated contract all but eliminates the benefit of doing so for 2023. However, the LA Rams will still save $7 million against the 2024 salary cap if Allen is released, so that option could still be on the table.

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As soon as these new savings are reflected in the LA Rams' total salary cap figures, we will be updating our 2023 NFL FA Tracker. But with this new money, the LA Rams now are estimated to have approximately $15 million in available cap space, which is a far more enviable position to be in at this point of the offseason.

While this development means that Brian Allen is more likely to play for the LA Rams through the 2024 NFL season, I do not think that this changes hopes that Allen assumes a backup role in 2023. As we have discussed in the past, one of the prerequisites to starting for the Rams is proof of durability. Allen has yet to clear that off his list.

The LA Rams still need salary cap space. But $3.2 million of money to spend can go a long way at this stage of the 2023 NFL Free Agency market.