First it was Colts owner Jim Irsay saying that “you have to be careful” to not become the Los Angeles Rams. Then it was Lions GM Brad Holmes talking about why he likes to run the draft differently in Detroit to avoid some of the issues he felt the Rams were running into during his tenure in the front office. Now add Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane to the list of NFL executives who can appreciate that L.A. won a Super Bowl...but that he’s trying to learn from the Rams mistakes before he makes them himself.
In relation to L.A.’s current salary cap issues and lack of first round draft picks following a 5-12 season, Beane spoke on how the Bills are trying to avoid a “tear-down” of the roster at any point by being “fiscally responsible” with adding talent every year:
“We’re trying to work our way out so that we don’t have just a tear-down,” Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. “And you see that happen from a team here or there like ‘man, we can’t do any more. We got to get rid of some of these huge salaries and the only way to do it is either try to kick it further down the road, making it harder or start trading, releasing and taking those hits.’
“We’re trying not to do that, we want to be competitive every single year. And so some years, you’re just not going to be able to go get a big ticket item every year. I know that’s sexy to go do that. And listen, we want as many talented players as we can get, but we’ve got to be fiscally responsible.”
Beane is clearly referring to how the Rams went out and added stars like Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, and Von Miller through trades, also extending the first two of those names, but losing four first round picks and three day two picks in the process. L.A. also gave out huge new contracts to Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp in 2022 but it would be surprising if either of those deals ends up paying off for the Rams in their post-Super Bowl winning era.
However, the Rams did win the Super Bowl, so that part of it can’t be left out. Some teams stink before they try to win the Super Bowl and then never get close. The L.A. Rams gave fans several really good seasons first, then won the Super Bowl, and now they’re paying a price for it. If the Eagles don’t win a Super Bowl in the next two or three years, what did Philadelphia pay that price for with regards to Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, and some of these other huge contracts?
Beane’s team in Buffalo is in an interesting situation in that they are already over-committed for 2024 with an estimated $1.4 million projected cap space. Not for this year, for next year. That includes a $23.8 million cap hit for a 35-year-old Miller, a player who L.A. wisely decided to not re-sign in free agency.
The Bills will probably have to kick some of Josh Allen’s $47 million cap hit in 2024 down the road too, so the credit card bill is come due for Beane at some point. That’s why Buffalo needs to be fiscally responsible. They can’t afford not to be.