The St. Louis Rams got a nice break on Thursday. Pressed up tightly against the cap -- with roughly $600,000 in available cap room projected this year -- news arrived that the cap is expected to jump to $130 million this season, $4 million more than was initially projected.
NFL's salary cap now projected to rise to about $130 million, up 5 percent from $123 million last year, per league sources. More $ for all.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2014
Of course, the NFL says to wait, the cap number hasn't been officially set at this point. Nevertheless, this is a good sign for cash-strapped teams like the Rams.
As for the Rams, think about this less in the pursuit of outside free agents and more in the realm of the decisions the team has to make regarding its current players. The Rams have three likely targets for cap casualties: Cortland Finnegan, Harvey Dahl and Scott Wells. Together, they count $20.5 million against the cap this season. Cutting all three would net $12.5 million in savings.
There's been some talk that the Rams could ask Finnegan to take a pay cut. The added cap room gives them additional flexibility for such a move, or similar moves with Dahl and Wells. All three players are overpriced, dealing with injuries and on the downhill side of their careers, but they all three play at positions where the Rams are thin on the depth chart.
Of course, an additional $4 million in cap space could also make it easier for the Rams to re-sign Rodger Saffold.