The Los Angeles Rams enter the 2024 offseason with more resources than they have in the past. Not only do they have a first-round pick in the top-20 for the first time in the Sean McVay era, but they also have potential to add a lot of cap space that will give them the ability to spend in free agency. They should have plenty of resources for them to address more than a few of their needs.
With that being said, the Rams still have to create that cap space. Pro Football Focus has a metric that gives teams an offseason resource composite score. This score is put together by combining a team’s draft capital, effective cap space, and proratable money. For that offseason resource composite score, the Rams finished 15th in the NFL with a composite score of 54.8.
While this is higher than last season’s ranking of 23rd and better than teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens, they still have work to do in order to maximize those resources.
From a cap perspective, the Rams are in a good spot. It was a big reason why they traded away Jalen Ramsey and cut both Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd. The goal was to reset their salary cap so that they could make a significant push in 2024 and 2025.
However, entering the 2024 offseason, the Rams have approximately $25.9M in effective cap space. The Rams do have about $41.5M in actual cap space, but effective space is the cap space a team will have after signing at least 51 players and its projected rookie class to its roster.
In order to make significant moves in free agency to add premier talent to the roster, the Rams will have to restructure contracts. According to OverTheCap, via simple restructures, Los Angeles could potentially have as much as $97.8M in cap space. With maximum restructures, that could grow to as much as $114.7M. The Rams may not actually end up opening up that much cap space, but it gives an idea of what they actually could be working with this offseason.
The player that makes the most sense when it comes to a restructure is quarterback Matthew Stafford. With a restructure, the Rams could save $19.8M according to OverTheCap’s transaction table. That’s the eighth-most for any player this offseason. It’s worth noting that last offseason, the Rams tried to re-work Stafford’s contract and he refused. However, a restructure is different re-working the contract and the Rams should be able to get something done in that regard if it’s something that they choose to do.
Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp’s contracts will also be in consideration for restructures. Restructuring those deals could save the Rams $13.6M and $12.5M, respectively. Both of those moves are in the top-25 when it comes to saving money via restructure. While not big moves, the Rams could also look to cut Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen.
Again, in order to maximize their offseason, the Rams will have to at the very least restructure a few contracts this offseason. While $25M in effective cap space is more than they’ve had in the past, this is a team looking to add some star-level players to their defense. In order to do so, they will need to try and be closer to the $50M range to make those types of moves happen.
From a draft pick perspective, the Rams are projected to have 10 selections which includes their compensatory picks. One of those will be in the first round where Los Angeles is set to select 19th overall.
Rams general manager Les Snead and co. will have a lot of work ahead of them this offseason. They took a big risk with some of the salary cap moves that were made last offseason. Now is the time where those risks come to fruition.