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
One more free-agent WR now available: Browns are releasing WR Jarvis Landry, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2022
Amari Cooper arriving, Landry departing.
DE Morgan Fox
Morgan Fox released one year after leaving Rams, joining Panthers. https://t.co/nXHBtserzX— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) March 14, 2022
LB Za’Darius Smith
Packers are releasing LB Za’Darius Smith, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2022
RB/RET Tarik Cohen
Bears are releasing RB Tarik Cohen with an injury designation, per source. He is not able to pass a physical yet stemming from his knee injury during the 2020 season. Cohen’s goal is to be ready in time for this upcoming season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2022
RB Carlos Hyde
Jaguars releasing Carlos Hyde today, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2022
LB Cory Littleton
The #Raiders informed LB Cory Littleton they'll release him when the league year begins next week, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2022
S Landon Collins
Sources: The Washington #Commanders are expected to release star defender Landon Collins after the two sides did not agree on a restructured contract. Collins will now hit free agency to cash in again.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2022
LB Trey Flowers
LB Kyle Van Noy
Kyle Van Noy tweets his goodbye to New England after Patriots release https://t.co/DnEu44DvzH— Tellme Times (@tellmetimes) March 10, 2022
LB Bobby Wagner
#Seahawks have officially released All-Pro LB Bobby Wagner. He's free.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 9, 2022
G Rodger Saffold
Titans informed Pro-Bowl guard Rodger Saffold that they are releasing him, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2022
This would have been the fourth year of a four-year, $44 million deal that had a $1 million roster bonus due next week. One more free-agent guard.
CB Terrance Mitchell
Texans informed CB Terrance Mitchell, who started 13 games last season, that they are releasing him, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2022
CB Tavon Young
#Ravens OT Alejandro Villanueva has decided to retire after a 7-year career, the team announced. In addition, they cut CB Tavon Young and tendered QB Tyler Huntley.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2022
LB Jordan Hicks
Circling back on the release of #AZCardinals LB Jordan Hicks, as the team is set to play their two young top LB draft picks. Under Hicks’ leadership, AZ’s defense was 9th in the NFL in DVOA (-6.6%) in 2020 and 6th (-8.3%) last year. Someone will get a very good player.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2022
FB Alec Ingold
A surprise: The #Raiders are not tendering fullback and team captain Alec Ingold, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2022
Ingold tore his ACL in Week 10, but is expected to be full go for training camp. Las Vegas isn’t closing the door on bringing him back. But he’ll be free to sign anywhere March 16.
OT Kendall Lamm
Chargers trade 2nd+6th for Khalil Mack
DE DeMarcus Lawrence
Cowboys reportedly will not release Lawrence, contrary to earlier reports.
Three player updates from #Cowboys source with #NFL FA approaching: “Demarcus Lawrence isn’t going anywhere.” Team still working on Amari Cooper options while hoping a new contract for Michael Gallup is soon finished.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 11, 2022
WR Amari Cooper
RT La’El Collins
- Likely cutting Amari Cooper— JPA Football (@jpafootball) March 7, 2022
- Maybe cutting Demarcus Lawrence
- Have to restructure Dak’s contract
All because they paid Ezekiel Elliott. Which is crazy to think about, because I think they have a potential star RB in Tony Pollard, if he gets enough touches.