The Los Angeles Rams are not having the offseason any of their fans had hoped, losing a bunch of key players in free agency and via trade.
The reason for it is so the Rams could get their salary cap in order. Coming off a 5-12 season, the Rams had the difficult decision of either bringing everyone back and remaining in cap hell for years to come, or biting the bullet and taking on big dead cap hits in 2023 in order to open up a lot of cap space a year from now.
Among the notable players to depart so far are Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner, Leonard Floyd, Greg Gaines, Nick Scott, Matt Gay, David Edwards and David Long Jr. with more potentially to follow.
In a letter to season ticket holders, Rams COO Kevin Demoff was very up front about the organization’s plan moving forward:
We always knew that there would be a time when we would have to pull back on our typical approach to help continue our sustained run of success…
As a result, we faced a choice this offseason. We could once again restructure contracts to give ourselves one last shot with our core roster but that would mean a total rebuild would be necessary over the next few seasons. Or we could focus on replenishing our draft capital and improving our long-term salary cap situation, clearing the way for us to compete both now and in the future.
Collectively as an organization, we chose the latter path, believing in the talent on our current roster and the skills of our coaching staff to return us to the playoffs. As we sit today, we have 11 draft picks in this year’s draft, including three in the top 77. We have nearly all of our picks in 2024 to both build next year and have as capital to make trades at this year’s trade deadline. From a salary cap perspective, while we have had to move on from players who helped us lift a Lombardi Trophy at SoFi Stadium, we have taken all of our salary cap pain in 2023 and project to have more than $60 million in space in 2024, the most salary cap space we have had since our move to Los Angeles.
Let me be clear – our goal for 2023 is to win the NFC West and make a deep playoff run. Change doesn’t mean that we expect to take a step back.
Even if this is not what Rams fans want to hear, it is refreshing to see the organization at least be honest about what is going on here.
Demoff may not seem to think it will be the case, but the Rams will likely have another rough season in 2023. It will serve as an opportunity for young players to develop though, and then when next season rolls around, the organization will be ready to reload with $60 million in cap space and a full complement of draft picks.