The LA Rams are taking drastic steps to reboot their roster for the 2023 NFL season. When I say drastic, I'm not kidding or exaggerating. The LA Rams have just 44 players on their projected 90-man roster and have just $11 million left under the 2023 NFL salary cap to sign 46 more players. That's pretty far out there folks. And it's not likely to change anytime soon.
But the LA Rams are not the only NFL team going through the ringer. Right now, the Tennessee Titans are doing quite a bit of spring cleaning to their roster, and have already parted ways with a number of key NFL veterans. Curiously, they are not done just yet:
If we want to go down the path of which team is in more dire straights, I'd have to vote the LA Rams. Even with their 'purge,', the Titans have 59 players under contract, and an estimated $17.3+ million of spendable 2023 salary cap space left. Compare that to the LA Rams with just 44 players and an estimated $11.2+ million to spend.
Rams and Titans rosters still have potent players on the trade block
The LA Rams are shopping WR Allen Robinson, a receiver who can put up 1000 receiving yards in a season. But the Tennessee Titans are reportedly shopping Derrick Henry and he is considered the best running back in the NFL.
But if the Titans pull the trigger, the team could be looking at 2023 without their:
For comparison's sake, the LA Rams are looking at 2023 without their:
Top defensive back
The problem for the LA Rams is the fact that the team has paid so much money upfront for elite NFL players, that the 2023 payroll is buried under a dead cap weight of over $50 million. The Tennessee Titans, while being quite active at pruning their own roster, have only racked up $33 million in dead cap for 2023. Of course, if the Titans waive Byard, trade Henry, or waive Tannehill, that dead cap total will rise rapidly.
The LA Rams have discussed their commitment to DL Aaron Donald, QB Matthew Stafford, and WR Cooper Kupp as 'weight bearing walls,' of the Rams roster for the 2023 NFL season. The truth of the matter is that moving on from Donald, Stafford, or Kupp will actually use up what little salary cap space that the team has available. And while restructuring contracts can free up cash for 2023, the Rams roster Top-5 paid players in 2024 already cost the team nearly $150 million. Any salary cap space created in 2023 will simply increase that number next year.
Who did it better? The LA Rams and the Tennessee Titans fans are in for some tough sledding in 2023. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Will 2024 make it all worthwhile for either team? I suppose that all depends on how either team performs in 2023, doesn't it?