Step V: Make a shopping list for the 2024 NFL Free Agency market
Okay, after all of the previous steps, you have armed yourself with a lot of valuable information. What am I referring to? Well, you have an pretty good idea of how much money you can spend in the offseason. You have a pretty good idea about which players will be extended, and which players will test their value in the 2024 Free Agency market. The final component to the 2024 spending limit is the estimation of the salary cap pool needed to sign drafted rookies.
The rookie pool for the 2024 LA Rams draft class is estimated by OverTheCap.com to be nearly $11.6 million. But thanks to the Top-51 rule in the offseason, the salry cap impact of the 2024 NFL Draft is only $3.6 million. That is due to the fact that rookies will bump lower cost players below the Top-51 threshold.
So after all steps to this point, the Rams will likely enter the 2024 NFL Free Agency market with somewhere between $5-20 million to spend. Now comes the tough part. How can the Rams squeeze so little into enough meaningful free agents?
Where do the Rams need help? Where have the Rams underinvested? How can the LA Rams truly upgrade their roster most? As fans, we tend to fixate on one bad game, rather than focus on wholesale improvements. Perhaps DB Derion Kendrick had several games with mental mistakes. Should the Rams sever all ties with him as a hopeless cause? Or can the Rams trust the coaches to train him to improve his play?
Let's look at this another way: Does it make sense for the LA Rams to spend all available cap space and surrender key draft picks to the Carolina Panthers for DE/OLB Brian Burns, all the while knowing that rookie OLB Byron Young was as productive and 1/10th of the cost?
NFL teams target positions, set a price range, and then try to match a player to the budget. Rather than dictate to you, the reader, you are now on your own. Keep in mind that shopping effectively in free agency is not only about getting the best players. The ideal goal is to get the most effective players at the best value.
The LA Rams added RB Royce Freeman, DBs Ahkello Witherspoon and John Johnson III, and WR Demarcus Robinson to the Rams roster for the veteran minimum. And the Rams were able to earn a playoff berth despite spending next to nothing.
Spend wisely, play hard, remain durable. The LA Rams learned valuable lessons in 2023. If the team applies those lessons learned in 2024, the Rams could be competing in the next Super Bowl.