The Los Angeles Rams are up against the NFL’s salary cap and seem intent on parting ways with costly veterans not producing up to their price tag.
Leonard Floyd may be the next individual on his way out. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Rams would release the veteran outside linebacker if they are unable to find a trade partner:
If the Rams just release Leonard Floyd, it would create $3M in 2023 cap space, while leaving $19M in dead money.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 6, 2023
With a post-June 1 designation, they would create $15.5M in 2023 cap space and spread the dead money out over two years (just $6.5M in 2023). https://t.co/MZOdh2QLA4
This news comes after the Rams have already decided to “mutually part ways” with MLB Bobby Wagner. CB Jalen Ramsey and WR Allen Robinson are two of the hottest names on the trade market as well. General manager Les Snead understands the team is up against the NFL’s salary cap, and it seems he’s planning to build a more sustainable financial situation moving forward while still holding together a competitive roster for 2023.
The Rams joined forces with Floyd on a one-year deal back in 2020 after he was released by the Chicago Bears. LA then signed him to a four-year, $64M contract extension, of which he played two years.
It’s not that Floyd has been unproductive during his time in Los Angeles—he’s recorded at least nine sacks in each of his three seasons—it’s the fact that his production has come in spurts and not on a consistent basis. During the 2022 season he failed to record a sack until Week 7 (when he had two), and then finished with nine sacks over the last 11 games.
It’s fair to wonder what the Rams are planning for their defense in 2023. The unit will seemingly undergo dramatic change without Wagner, Ramsey, and Floyd. LA’s first offseason priority will likely be finding a pass rusher to play outside of Aaron Donald, though acquiring an edge defender will be costly. LA underwent a youth movement in the secondary last offseason when they drafted corners Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick as well as safeties Quentin Lake and Russ Yeast.
Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will have his work cut out for him this season, especially as the team looks to thread the needle by holding together a competitive roster and acquiring building blocks for the long-term future of the Rams.