all! Back in November, I wrote a Fanpost entitled "A Look Ahead to the Rams' Off Season - Year 3" (http://www.turfshowtimes.com/2013/11/15/5107066/a-look-ahead-to-the-offseason-year-3) and said I would write a follow up when the draft and free agency was closer. I have finally found the time to write my updated off-season plan. I hope you enjoy the read. Disclaimer: I am not an expert, just a fan who loves the off-season and the analysis and potential scenarios that this time of the year entails. Please feel free to correct me in the comments if you disagree or feel like something is unrealistic or incorrect.
and said I would write a follow up when the draft and free agency was closer. I
have finally found the time to write my updated off-season plan. I hope you
enjoy the read. Disclaimer: I am not an expert, just a fan who loves the
off-season and the analysis and potential scenarios that this time of the year entails.
Please feel free to correct me in the comments if you disagree or feel like something
is unrealistic or incorrect.
As you are aware, the off-season is here and the
excitement for free agency and the draft is palpable. I have loved watching the
Rams improve under Fisher and Snead, and can’t wait to see what Year 3 has is
store. Like many of you, I have been spending far too much time on
first-pick.com. I utilized this site, with a few adjustments that I will
address later, to create a draft for the Rams. I have also outlined a plan for
cuts, resignings, free agency, and restructures. I did my best as far as the
numbers go, but there are some on here far more equipped than I speak to the
salary cap, so please take my analysis with a grain of salt. What follows is a potential
plan for the off-season.
Rams current cap space: $6.8m
Harvey Dahl (expected)- Creates $4m in 2014 cap space
Cortland Finnegan (per reports)- Creates $4m in cap space immediately, and additional cap space equal to the value of his next contract if he signs elsewhere, if I understand the terms correctly. I am predicting another team picks him up for $3m. So, for the purpose of this post, we’ll say cutting Finnegan creates $7m in cap space.
Total Cap Space created 2014: $11m
Rodger Saffold- 4yrs/$25m (approx. $6.25m/yr)
Jo-Lonn Dunbar- 2yrs/$2m (Perhaps a bit below market value, but takes slightly less to not have to move and play for Gregg Williams again)
Kellen Clemens- 1yr/$900,000 (slight pay raise for 1 more year to mentor the rookie)
Shelly Smith- 3yrs/$2m(stays in a familiar situation to provide quality depth)
Cap Hits 2014: Saffold: $4m, Dunbar-$1m, Clemens-$900,000, Smith-$600,000
Total Cap Hit 2014 (Resigned Free Agents): ($6.5m)
Malcolm Jenkins- 1yr/$1.5m (slight pay cut from making 2.4m last season)
Louis Delmas on a similar deal. I went with Jenkins because he is familiar with Gregg Williams and will likely be a bit cheaper
Kenny Britt-1yr/$1.5m (made approx. $900,000 last year. I feel market for Britt will be a rude awakening, but Fisher gives him a chance to prove himself in a familiar situation)
Numbers via (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl)
Cap Hits 2014: Jenkins: $1.5m, Browner: $2m, Britt: $1.5m
Total Cap Hit 2014 (Free Agency): ($5m)
Sam Bradford. I do not understand the logistics of restructuring contracts. Ultimately, I feel it will be in the best interest of the Rams and Sam Bradford to eventually extend his deal, creating cap space and securing their quarterback long term. However, in the short term for the 2014 season, a restructure would help the Rams sign a couple free agents to provide a veteran presence in Gregg Williams’ first year. If it would hamper the team significantly in future years, the Rams should avoid this restructure and spend less money on free agents. However, if the restructure is just a matter of moving money and wording around to create cap space, a restructure would greatly benefit the Rams in 2014.
I used first-pick.com for trades, convenience, and fun. However, I deleted some of my picks to make it more realistic numerically. As you will see, this draft is still pretty unrealistic as far as where players fall, but hey, that’s what websites like these are for right.
Two positives I’d like to point out about a draft such as the one that follows:
1) We trade out of the top 10, thereby lowering the contract numbers for each of our first round picks and saving the team cap space.
2) We secure 2 2015 first round picks. Even better, these picks are from two teams, Oakland and Cleveland who have the potential to pick in the top 10 again next season. Side note: If we are able to hit on the #2 pick, whether through a pick or through another trade, I cannot think of a more lopsided trade in NFL history. Thankful we are benefiting from it.
Trade 2 to OAK for #5, 2nd round pick, and 2015 1st
Trade 5 to CLE for #26, 2nd round pick, 3rd round pick, and 2015 1st
Round 1 Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Round 1 Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Round 2 David Yankey, OG, Stanford
Round 2 Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Round 2 Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois
Round 3 A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Round 3 Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
Round 4 JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee
Round 5 Bryan Stork, C, Florida State
Round 6 Joe Don Duncan, TE, Dixie St
Money needed prior to 2014 season (operating costs and signing draft class): $10m
Your Future Picks:
2015 Round 1 Pick (CLE)
2015 Round 1 Pick (OAK)
2015 Round 1 Pick
2016 Round 1 Pick
1) Sam Bradford
2) AJ McCarron (3 CLE)
3) Kellen Clemens
1) Zac Stacy
2) Lache Seastrunk (3 STL)
4) Isaiah Pead (Takes on Reynolds’ special team role)
2) Chris Givens
3) Brian Quick
4) Tavon Austin
6) Kenny Britt
1) Jared Cook
2) Lance Kendricks (FB)
3) Cory Harkey (FB)
4) Joe Don Duncan (6)
1) Scott Wells
2) Bryan Stork (5)
1) Rodger Saffold (OT)
2) David Yankey (2 CLE)
4) Barrett Jones (C)
1) Jake Long
2) Joe Barksdale (G)
3) JuWuan James (4)
1) Robert Quinn
2) Chris Long
3) William Hayes (DT)
4) Eugene Sims (DT)
1) Michael Brokers
3) Aaron Donald (2 OAK) *Again, unlikely he falls, but could due to drafts DT depth and size
4) Matt Conrath
2) Khalil Mack (1.13 STL) *Unlikely to fall this far, but excellent value if he does happen to.
3) Jo-Lonn Dunbar
4) Ray-Ray Armstrong
2) Darren Bates
2) Brandon Browner
3) Justin Gilbert (1.26 CLE) *Incredibly doubtful he falls here but wouldn’t it be nice?
1) TJ McDonald
2) Malcolm Jenkins
3) Jimmy Ward (2 STL)
1) Johnny Hekker
If I counted correctly, this is a way too early look at what the 53 man roster could look like next season.
I hope you all enjoyed the read. Of course, this is not the most realistic of off-seasons, but a fun conversation starter at the very least. Looking forward to seeing what the Rams do this off-season and seeing the team continue to progress in year 3!