Things looked bleak for the St. Louis Rams heading into the 2014 offseason. A relatively flat salary cap left the team with what looked like about $600,000 in cap space, thanks to a roster top heavy with a small number of contracts. But the news got better last week when reports surfaced that the cap could be closer to $130 million versus the projected $126 million. ESPN's John Clayton then reported it was expected to be more like $132 million, and Pro Football Talk upped that today with a report that the cap could be "a few million" more than the last reported amount.
And just like that, the cash-strapped Rams could have something more like $9 million in cap space, as opposed to $600,000.
The NFL and the NFLPA have to agree on a cap number ahead of the March 11 deadline for teams to be under the 2014 cap. That's also the day that free agency opens.
Determining the cap number is always a dicey negotiation. There's a natural tug of war between owners and players for less cap vs. a higher one. That could even lead to the league borrowing against future caps. However, with the massive new television deals expected to hit league coffers in 2015, they don't exactly have to mortgage the future if they do borrow.
Either way, that's good news for the Rams, who will be under serious pressure in 2014 to reverse more than a decade without a winning record.