Disclosure, I have read the letter that L.A. Rams COO Kevin Demoff sent to season ticket members last week. I have not read any comment’s nor anyone else’s take on this letter prior to writing this post. Any of these speculative ideas below are my own and I take full responsibility.
Kevin Demoff’s letter to season ticket holders can be read here. This is how I read it, word for word.
Let’s breakdown the letter with “We” being “The Los Angeles Rams organization” and Demoff...
Season Ticket Members,
The consistent hallmark of our team under Sean McVay and Les Snead has been aggressive moves in pursuit of Super Bowl titles. While this year may feel different given the first two weeks of the offseason, make no mistake, we expect to compete for the NFC West division title this season and make a run towards Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
How I read it: ‘We weren’t sure what we were doing would work. Sean McVay and Les Snead pulled it off. We won a Super Bowl. We are allowed to take a year off. We aren’t taking this year off.’
We always knew that there would be a time when we would have to pull back on our typical approach to help continue our sustained run of success. In the past, when we traded for younger Pro Bowl players who would command new contracts – Sammy Watkins, Marcus Peters, Brandin Cooks, Jalen Ramsey – we had the long-term salary cap flexibility to take on those new contracts. If we wanted to acquire short-term players such as Dante Fowler or Von Miller, we had the extra draft capital to do so to help us make a Super Bowl push, which happened in both cases.
‘Thank you to everyone who came before, we acknowledge you. We know how to build a roster. Players we acquire become more desirable. We cannot afford to keep all of these players. We successfully develop players to get paid by us or someone else. It can be tough, but we move on and we find other players of that caliber and push forward. By the way, we won a Super Bowl.’
During the trade deadline this past year, it was clear that in a new era where teams were willing to be as aggressive as we were that we had neither the draft capital nor the salary cap space to win trade conversations and be able to take on top players at the salaries they would command.
‘Team are doing what we were doing, we set that trend, and we didn’t know what to do.’
As a result, we faced a choice this offseason. We could once again restructure contracts to give ourselves one last shot with our core roster but that would mean a total rebuild would be necessary over the next few seasons. Or we could focus on replenishing our draft capital and improving our long-term salary cap situation, clearing the way for us to compete both now and in the future.
‘We remembered where we came from and we looked to accumulate draft picks and save up money so that we can press on and get back to where we want to be. Remember when we made controversial trades? Remember when those trades worked and we went to a Super Bowl? Remember when we won a Super Bowl?’
Collectively as an organization, we chose the latter path, believing in the talent on our current roster and the skills of our coaching staff to return us to the playoffs. As we sit today, we have 11 draft picks in this year’s draft, including three in the top 77. We have nearly all of our picks in 2024 to both build next year and have as capital to make trades at this year’s trade deadline. From a salary cap perspective, while we have had to move on from players who helped us lift a Lombardi Trophy at SoFi Stadium, we have taken all of our salary cap pain in 2023 and project to have more than $60 million in space in 2024, the most salary cap space we have had since our move to Los Angeles.
‘Thank to to EVERYONE to helped us figure out our process, Including you, the reader, but we are moving on. We didn’t know what we were doing then, but everyone is now doing what we were doing and we need to adjust and adapt.’
Let me be clear – our goal for 2023 is to win the NFC West and make a deep playoff run. Change doesn’t mean that we expect to take a step back. Our Super Bowl LVI starting lineup featured 19 starters (out of 22) that didn’t start in Super Bowl LIII just three years prior. Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald all enter this offseason as fresh as they have been in a few seasons and hungry to return to their Super Bowl form. We are excited to have young players such as Cam Akers, Cobie Durant, Van Jefferson and Ernest Jones take on more prominent roles. Sean has assembled a new coaching staff with a focus on great teachers, communicators, and different backgrounds to collaborate and figure out the best way to go win the NFC.
‘We believe in Sean McVay.’
We know what a privilege it is to be Los Angeles’ team and with that comes great expectations. It is not enough to win just one championship, even when you win that one at home. Our vision and mandate from ownership has always been for sustained success and multiple Lombardi trophies. Under Sean and Les’ leadership, we are confident that this plan will allow us to compete and contend not only for this year but for years to come, and we can’t wait to see you at SoFi Stadium this fall to start that journey together.
Thank you for your continued support and Go Rams!
Chief Operating Officer
‘In Sean McVay we trust.