Rams investment in this area leaves little left to spend elsewhere

Do you get what you pay for? If so, the Rams should excel in this area, but may struggle elsewhere.

Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay, Les Snead / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The LA Rams adjusted salary cap for the 2024 NFL season is $257.7 million per Spotrac.com. The 'adjusted' component also includes any unspent salary cap dollars from the 2023 NFL season that carried over into this year. While that is certainly a hefty number in terms of historical NFL salary cap numbers, is it ever truly enough?

While all 32 NFL teams start out with a pretty similar adjusted salary cap number, how teams choose to spend that money makes all the difference in the world. And when fans rush to social media to belittle a coach or coordinator, how many pause to consider how much the team was willing to spend on that particular positional group, or side of the football.

In 2023, the LA Rams actively spent just $85.25 million on offense. While that was not a lot of money, it was the 27th most expensive NFL offense per overthecap.com. Conversely, the Rams actively spent just $51.75 million on defense. That was the least amount spent on defense by any NFL team in 2023. In fact, it was less than half the amount spent by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills, and nearly half of the amount spent by the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.

And yet, it was almost a weekly ritual by some fans to call for the team to fire DC Raheem Morris. Did anyone pause and look at how much the team spent on defense last year?

Rams believe O is the way to go in 2024

Whether it falls to just sticking to the plan, or the fact that the team found an incredible hot streak to close out the 2023 season, the Rams spending plan appears to follow the same track as 2023. As of the early part of the 2024 NFL Free Agency, the Rams are on track to field the second most expensive offense in the NFL:

So what is left over for the Rams defense? Once again the Rams spending on defense comes in dead last among all 32 NFL teams. In 2024, the Rams have committed just $55.9 million to the defensive side of the football. That is less than half of the spending on defense from six NFL teams. Will fans judge new defensive coordinator Chris Shula as harshly in 2024 as they did Raheem Morris in 2023?

Should fans expect a Top-10 defense with the least amount spent on the group? The Rams ended 2023 with the 20th-ranked defense despite spending the least on the group. If you wanted that to change, it won't for 2024. The Rams spent the 27th most on offense in 2023, and ended the the year with the seventh-ranked offense.

If everything remains the same, the Rams offense in 2024 should land among the Top-3 offenses in the NFL. The defense will need a lot of dominoes to fall the right way to improve the ranking from 20th.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for. Let's hope that by investing in top-of-the-line coaching, the Rams football team can coax a little bit better out of the players in 2024.

Thanks for reading.