You know who’s having a bad time? The Los Angeles Rams. They are in major trouble with some big contracts on the books and few draft picks coming up.
And just like that, the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl window looks to be shut.
Only two years ago was Sean McVay’s team playing for the Lombardi Trophy. Their roster was deep and well-coached. They were one of the hardest teams to beat in the NFC in 2017 and ’18, but did regress last year and missed the playoffs. With all three of their division rivals on the rise, the Rams have major trouble on their horizon with hefty contracts and limited draft capital.
The Rams have four players who would be more than a $10 million cap hit in they were released: Quarterback Jared Goff, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. They had another eight-figure cap hit, but released former All-Pro running back Todd Gurley on Thursday afternoon after trying to trade him. Nobody bought it.
Gurley will now sign with someone else for pennies on the dollar. Instead of re-upping with their emerging star pass-rusher who they traded for in Dante Fowler Jr., they let him walk to the Atlanta Falcons, a team Gurley maybe interested in joining. He did play his college ball just up the road in Athens for the University of Georgia.
To make things even more complicated, Rams general manager made 38-year-old Andrew Whitworth the highest paid non-quarterback over 35 years old in NFL history by giving him a three-year deal. Whitworth is a great player and might be a Hall of Fame candidate one day, but what if he falls off a cliff? What happens to the Rams’ overpaid signal-caller Goff?
And it’s not just big contracts and little cap space to work with, the Rams have almost no draft capital in the next two offseasons. Because they traded for Ramsey with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Rams do not own their next two first-round picks. The Rams have six picks to worth with in 2020 and don’t have a first, fourth or fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
There is no other way to put it than the Rams are in a tough spot. Though he may have been pressured by ownership to get big-time names to help fill seats at brand-new SoFi Stadium, Snead pulled the trigger on all these moves.
This isn’t the NBA where you can dip into the luxury tax. The NFL is a hard salary-capped league and the Rams are paying a price for it and in the future.