Take all reports of the St. Louis Rams' salary cap situation with a pinch of salt. Earlier today, we noted one report that the Rams were the only team in the NFL over the salary cap. However, another report from Pro Football Talk which usually has a pretty good handle on these things, says the Rams are under the cap...but not by much.
PFT says the Rams still have a whopping $270,000 in cap space. Slightly over or slightly under, either way, the Rams have some cuts to make. There are a couple positions in particular where pricier salaries could be shaved in favor of younger players. I mentioned a couple of possibilities earlier today.
A couple of key dates to keep in mind. Teams have to trim rosters from 90 to 75 players by August 30. The final 53-man roster is due on September 3.
How about a few more potential cap cuts? Ok, let's do it.
Looking at the positions where veterans and their contracts are at risk.
The one to watch here is Billy Bajema. I doubt he gets cut in the end, but he is due $985K in salary this year, and it's a log jam at this spot. Lance Kendricks and Michael Hoomanawanui seem to have two spots locked down. Bajema probably gets the nod because he's a veteran blocking specialist.
They don't have much money tied up in this position, for as many receivers as they have on the roster. Donnie Avery has the highest salary at $683K. Mike Sims-Walker has a one-year deal that could be worth up to $3.7 million. Most of his money is tied to incentives, with a small base salary. Incentives are counted with a tool called "likely to be realized," so it depends on what MSW's incentives are and how they're counted toward the cap.
This is the most obvious position. We mentioned Na'il Diggs earlier. His $1.25 million salary could be the easiest target. Brady Poppinga is due just $685K.
I mentioned James Butler earlier, who is competing with some younger players for a spot in the rotation. With his restructured contract, he's due a little more than $900K this year.
The Rams just don't have many easy cuts to make, not from a pure salary standpoint anyway. So many players on this roster make less than a million dollars this year. And with the team ever so slightly under the cap, they don't have to worry about anything until the first round of cuts on August 30, or should they decide to sign another free agent, like say a cornerback.