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St. Louis Rams 2011 salary cap: Money to burn!

Ah clarification. There's a reason why teams hire, at considerable expense, smart people to oversee the salary cap. For the St. Louis Rams, the pairing of GM Billy Devaney and COO Kevin Demoff, a real up and comer in the league, has been a relatively unheralded part of the franchise's return from the abyss. Demoff and Devaney will have plenty of money to work with once free agency does finally open sometime next week. 

According to John Clayton at ESPN, the Rams have $35 million in cap space. Sam Bradford's hefty, but pro-rated bonus, negotiated by none other than the aforementioned suits, stretches out from this year through 2015, saving precious cap space. 

Clayton also runs down a list of a few potential cap casualties, for those teams lacking this kind of cap space. First on the list, none other than Reggie Bush, whom New Orleans would like to get rid of since he counts some $16 million against the cap this year. Another team, and Clayton mentions the Rams as one possibility, will give Bush a long-term deal. 

Personally, I love the idea of what a player like Reggie Bush could do for an offense headed by Sam Bradford (for more on why smart QBs like Bradford and versatile skill players are such a good pairing see this post). Of course, there are other options similar to Bush that would not require nearly as much money. There were some Rams-Bush trade rumors, including one from a blog citing no sources, but there's debate about just how interested the Rams would be. 

And what about the money the Rams have to spend? The new CBA will require teams to spend at least 90 percent of their total salary cap dollars. For the Rams, that means they have to spend around $23 million just to meet that requirement. 

One more thing in our salary cap primer. Clayton notes that those numbers do not include RFA tenders. John Greco was the highest tendered Rams RFA, at the original round level, probably close the $1 million mark. The other players tendered as RFAs got the first right of refusal tag, which in this case will likely pay them slightly more than they made last year...around the league minimum. Specific tender amounts are subject to the new CBA.