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2022 NFL Cap Casualty Tracker: Will Rams scour free agency for veteran help?

Los Angeles can add released players without it impacting their compensatory draft pick formula next year

NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Will the Los Angeles Rams make anyone a cap casualty this month? The answer to that hasn’t come into focus yet and there are a number of players who we can’t reasonably deny are in the discussion.

First and foremost is the retirement decision of Andrew Whitworth, not to mention the corresponding agreement by the Rams that would require they pay him a $9 million base salary when he turns 41 years old this year. If L.A. releases Whitworth or he retires, the Rams save $16 million against next season’s salary cap.

Though these numbers are bound to change with restructures and releases, OvertheCap.com currently projects the LA Rams to be well over the 2022 cap:

Releasing Whitworth changes that number dramatically in 2022, leaving L.A. still $4.2 million over the cap.

The next big question surrounds Robert Woods. The 30-year-old receiver is coming off of ACL surgery and is owed a $10 million salary and a $3.5 million roster bonus. Releasing Woods now would save the team $3.6 million against the 2022 salary cap—and another $9.55 million against the 2023 salary cap.

Cap casualties that would be far less anticipated would circle around A’Shawn Robinson ($9.5 million cap hit, $5.5 million in savings if released), Tyler Higbee ($8 million, $5.2 million in savings), and Johnny Hekker ($3.1 million, $2 million in savings).

I wouldn’t expect the first two to happen, Robinson seems more likely to renegotiate, but Hekker’s name is coming up for the second year in a row. Most shocking would be a release of right tackle Rob Havenstein, who is due a $9.6 million cap hit, with $5 million in savings if L.A. went in a different direction.

Assuming Aaron Donald isn’t going anywhere, the Rams’ only cap casualty focuses are probably Whitworth, Woods, and Hekker. What about other teams?

If the Rams choose to sign a veteran who was released by another team, then it a) won’t impact their 2023 compensatory pick formula and b) they don’t have to wait until free agency begins next Tuesday. They can start to negotiate with said player as soon as they are cut.

Which players does that involve?

WR Jarvis Landry

DE Morgan Fox

LB Za’Darius Smith

RB/RET Tarik Cohen

RB Carlos Hyde

LB Cory Littleton

S Landon Collins

LB Trey Flowers

LB Kyle Van Noy

LB Bobby Wagner

G Rodger Saffold

CB Terrance Mitchell

CB Tavon Young

LB Jordan Hicks

FB Alec Ingold

OT Kendall Lamm

Chargers trade 2nd+6th for Khalil Mack

RUMORED

DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Cowboys reportedly will not release Lawrence, contrary to earlier reports.

WR Amari Cooper

RT La’El Collins