The Los Angeles Rams may be looking to take a more conservative approach to their roster heading into the 2023 season as they finally start to feel the ramifications of their all-in strategy.
With a bloated cap sheet due to lucrative deals handed out to their stars as well as a lack of draft capital, the Rams have limited means to add impactful players. The front office has proven capable of freeing up money where they can, but at some point the math begins to work against them and thus difficult decisions have to be made.
The first of those moves came recently as they surprisingly parted ways with Bobby Wagner. The linebacker originally signed a five-year deal with Los Angeles, but his time back home in Southern California ends after just one unfruitful season.
Wagner was a popular and respected teammate and Jalen Ramsey made sure to send off the All-Pro linebacker with his thanks and well wishes, via his Twitter account:
I embrace & appreciate every moment now a days forreal because I never know what the future holds. It was a real deal dream come true to play on the same defense as you @Bwagz ! Much love & respect! 🤟🏾
Excited for the next chapter for you! pic.twitter.com/3COIrCAJwr
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) February 23, 2023
Changes to the roster were always expected, but releasing Wagner is a blow to the Rams as he was their most reliable defender during the year. Although injuries ravaged the roster, Wagner was able to appear in every game and managed to have one of his best seasons at 32 years old. Wagner recorded 140 total tackles, six sacks, five passes defensed and two interceptions.
The Rams were about $15 million over the salary cap, so releasing Wagner shaves off about $5 million. With around $10 million left to go to get under the cap, Los Angeles will need to move around some more money or part ways with players they would probably like to keep.
Their salary cap situation is exactly why there have been rumors about the team potentially trading away Ramsey who has three years left on the lucrative five-year extension he signed back in 2020. Ramsey has addressed his uncertain future with Los Angeles and seems ready for anything, though one would have to imagine that the team would prefer to keep him if they can.
Climbing back to the top seems like an impossible task at the moment, but the Rams have certainly earned the benefit of the doubt despite last season’s failure.