With the start of NFL free agency and the draft just around the corner, the Los Angeles Rams will have some interesting decisions to make in the next few weeks.
As a team that is right around the salary cap, the Rams will have to find a way to free up some money in order to keep some of their free agents and make additions.
With the core nucleus of players from the team’s Super Bowl run all returning in 2023, the expectation is that the Rams will give it one last run at another ring. With that being the case, they will likely free up some money by restructuring contracts and pushing money down the line when the team will likely go through a rebuild.
The Rams can restructure contracts such as Cooper Kupp, Bobby Wagner and Aaron Donald, which will free up significant money. If they want to free up some more though then they may need to cut some players, and here are three candidates.
Allen was a key part of the Rams’ Super Bowl run as their starting center. Outside of that year though, he has struggled to stay healthy, missing 18 games in his last three seasons. That’s not including the 2020 season when he opted out due to COVID-19 and sat out the whole year.
Even though Allen just signed an extension with the Rams last year, he is the most likely player to be cut this offseason. If released before June 1, the Rams would save around $2 million in cap space. Those savings would go up to $4.4 million if he’s cut after June 1, however.
If the Rams don’t view Allen as their starting center moving forward then they would be better off cutting him and using that money on someone like Coleman Shelton, who could soon be a free agent.
The Rams could also cut another offensive lineman in Noteboom who is in a similar situation as Allen. The organization was very high on Noteboom a year ago, giving him a lucrative contract in free agency to replace Andrew Whitworth at left tackle.
Unfortunately though, he played just six games in 2022 before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury.
It remains to be seen when Noteboom will be ready to play in 2023, which means his $15.5 million cap hit in 2023 may not be worth it for L.A.
The Rams would save $2.5 million by cutting Noteboom before June 1 and $8.5 million after. That money can be used to bring in a veteran left tackle that has fewer health risks.
Floyd is the least likely player of this bunch to be cut due to his productivity, although if he was, L.A. would save the most money.
A pre-June 1 cut would only save $3 million but that number increased significantly to $15.5 million after June 1.
While that money could definitely help elsewhere, pass rush is arguably the team’s biggest need and Floyd is the best guy they have. Floyd has 29 sacks in three seasons with the team, has not missed a single game and is still just 30 years of age with quality years ahead of him.
That typically isn’t a player that gets cut, but anything has to be on the table for the Rams at this point.