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What Les Snead had to say about the 2021 NFL salary cap

It didn’t do much for him

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

As noted yesterday, LA Rams general manager Les Snead would like to avoid making any cap casualties to his roster this year. The Rams are in one of the worst financial positions in the league right now (although I feel compelled to add this caveat every time I mention LA’s salary cap: they’re also one of the most talented teams in the league — which I think is the only thing that fans should care about but maybe that’s a matter of taste) and after the Saints made a bunch of contract moves this week, currently lists Snead’s team as 32nd out of 32 teams in 2021 cap space.

The Rams have $186.1 million in active cap spending and $34.1 million in dead money, and the NFL set a 2021 salary cap of $182.5 million on Wednesday. LA also has a few million to rollover from 2020, essentially placing the Rams at $33.1 million over and YES, this includes the Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford trade. I will emphasize again that whatever the actual cap space number is today, IT DOES NOT MATTER. The only thing that matters is where the Rams are at on March 17, which needs to be under $182.5 million+rollover, which OtC lists as $187.1 million for Snead.

The NFL had previously set a cap floor of $180 million and while Wednesday’s announcement was more than that, NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano tweeted that Snead’s plan didn’t change at all based on the announcement. “The extra $2.5 million isn’t going to necessarily move the needle with us,” said Snead.

The Rams will do most of the cap work by restructuring the contracts of their top-paid players. That may not be the worst thing, as Greg Auman noted on Thursday that the salary cap is expected to spike again in 2022 once the NFL settles its new TV deals.

I would expect Los Angeles to restructure their top three to four players, and to make one or two releases that probably don’t move the needle either. At least, in terms of the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl chances.

Expect more news on this front very soon.