St. Louis Rams top cap values have uncertain future with the team beyond 2009

ESPN's Mike Sando has a look at the five Rams players that count the most against the cap this season. Not really any surprise names on the list. There are a couple of names, however, that have to prove themselves this season in order to make the roster list next year.

Marc Bulger, 2009 cap cost: $8.5 million

Bulger's in a make-or-break year, and he knows it. Plenty of fans would have liked to see 2008 as Bulger's last year with the Rams, but the cap hit was just too high to absorb and still carry out the beginning of the rebuilding project. Besides the cap hit, dumping Bulger for 2009 might have been a little premature. There's reason to believe that with an improved offensive line and an offensive system designed to play to his strengths, it's likely that he can rebound. Mike Martz endorsed Bulger's potential turnaround. If Bulger does come up short, the Rams can dump him in the spring and save somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 million against the 2010 cap, versus eating a similar amount this season.

Leonard Little, 2009 cap cost: $7.6 million

Little's contract is up after this season. He's reportedly in shape and ready to thrive in Spagnuolo's blitz-heavy system. Whether or not he rejoins the Rams after this season remains to be seen. If he does, it'll be at a significantly reduced cost, reflecting the 36-year-old's (that his seasonal age for 2010) signifcantly reduced playing time.

Talking about cap savings for 2010 is a waste of time, since the league will more than likely be operating without a cap for that season. The savings from Little will almost certainly have to go toward finding another pass rusher to replace him.

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