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Los Angeles Rams salary cap situation heading into 2022

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The Los Angeles Rams will have to navigate some cap space concerns in the 2022 NFL offseason if they want a shot of heading back to the Super Bowl next year. The Rams are one of a handful of teams currently projected to be over the salary cap for 2022 as things stand at the end of February. With Los Angeles needing to be under the salary cap when the new league year begins on March 16, let’s examine what options they have in the coming weeks.

Rams salary cap outlook for 2022

As it stands on February 26, the Rams are projected to be a touch above $13 million over the 2022 salary cap. That number could change slightly when adjustments from the 2021 season are included, but for the most part, the Rams are going to have to make some moves in the coming days and weeks to get themselves under the cap.

Of course, the Rams likely also want to add some pieces in free agency. If that’s the case, they will need to clear more than just $13 million. There is also the matter of fitting in the salary cap from their draft picks. However, with no picks in the first two rounds and just one in the first two days, their cap commitments from the draft should be relatively minimal.

Rams’ potential salary cap moves ahead of the 2022 NFL league year

Any roster you look at, you can find ways for teams to save cap space. Whether that be cutting players, making trades, restructuring deals, or signing extensions, there are always options. The balance is always finding realistic options that do not tie the teams into players longer than they would like or leave them with dead money in future years that they cannot easily shift.

The good news for the Rams is that they have several options to free up cap space with players that are likely to be on their roster for the foreseeable future.

Matthew Stafford is entering the final year of his deal in 2022

With the Lions eating a large chunk of Matthew Stafford’s salary cap commitments with the trade last year, the Rams’ QB is sitting cheaply at a $23 million cap hit for 2022. However, the Rams still have the opportunity to save cap space on Stafford’s deal. They have two options with which to do this.

The first option is to leave it as a one-year deal but add up to four void years to spread the $23 million in salary, roster bonus, and workout bonus over five years for cap purposes. LA could feasibly take Stafford’s cap number down to around $5.5 million for 2022. However, that would leave them with around $17.5 million in dead money next year regardless of whether he’s on the roster or not.

The second option is to give Stafford an extension. Doing so would allow the Rams and Stafford to structure the contract in the best interest of both the player and team as much as possible. The Rams could feasibly reduce Stafford’s cap number as low as the veteran minimum salary at $1.12 million.

That would be the extreme option. There would be no signing bonus, likely resulting in the Rams having to guarantee huge amounts of money in the next two or three years of the deal. Stafford is currently projected to be worth a four-year, $166 million contract by Spotrac.

Andrew Whitworth appears set to retire

It seems as though Andrew Whitworth is ready to walk away from the game, which will help the Rams’ salary cap immediately. Whitworth is owed $16 million across bonuses and salary this season. If he does retire, the Rams would have to eat $1.67 million in dead money from his signing bonus proration. However, it would free up $16 million in cap space.

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They would have to replace Whitworth, which might require investment. However, Whitworth’s retirement would immediately get the Rams under the salary cap for the new league year.

Will Aaron Donald retire?

At 30 years of age, Aaron Donald has hinted at retirement but nothing is confirmed. Should he retire, the Rams would not see the significant savings they will see if Whitworth retires. Donald would leave the team with a $21.5 million cap number as it stands due to last season’s restructure.

However, if retirement is the plan, then LA could do what the Saints did with Drew Brees. That would involve restructuring the contract to remove the roster bonus and reduce his salary to the veteran minimum. That would mean Donald carries just under a $14 million cap number into the new league year. The Rams could then process the retirement post-June 1, leaving themselves with $12.5 million in 2022 and $9 million in 2023.

If Donald remains with the Rams, they have a few options. A basic restructure would save around $10 million in cap space. They could also work with Donald to change the contract up and add void years to give them greater flexibility later in the deal. There is also the potential of a conventional contract extension. But the savings on that would be the least of the three and does not make sense for a player contemplating retirement.

Elsewhere on the defensive line, they could save some money if they were to do something with A’Shawn Robinson’s contract. Trading or releasing Robinson is an option to save $5.5 million, but it is certainly less than desirable. LA could add further void years and stretch the $9.5 million cap number out between 2022 and 2023. Of course, they could also extend him, especially if Donald decides to walk away.

Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods all offer the opportunity to save cap space for the Rams in 2022

There are a number of options for the Rams with these three players. Jalen Ramsey is currently the highest-paid cornerback in the league with four years remaining on his deal. For that reason, the only option that makes sense is a restructure. Ramsey’s cap number is already high in the remaining years of the deal, but the cap is projected to skyrocket in the coming years. Therefore, the Rams could save another $11 million in cap space in 2022 with a restructure of his $15 million base salary.

Cooper Kupp has two more years left on his deal and will likely get an extension either this offseason or next. Restructuring his deal in 2022 would instantly save $11 million. Then the Rams can deal with the issue of the void years and their cost when they do an extension next year.

An extension for Kupp this offseason would give the Rams some options with his contract. They are locked into a $5 million cap number at a minimum. But after that, the Rams can structure it however they want — as long as Kupp and his agent are happy.

Robert Woods’ injury has made his future uncertain. Still, it would be surprising if he was released ahead of the 2022 league year. He currently has a $15.1 million cap number and would carry $12.1 million in dead money if released. The Rams could save $10 million in cash by moving on ahead of his salary becoming guaranteed on March 20. More likely is they look to restructure his $13.5 million in salary and roster bonus this offseason. Doing so could save close to $10 million.

What other cap space options do the Rams have this offseason?

The Rams have a handful of other options to save cap space. Leonard Floyd is the other high-profile name that could save them over $10 million. LA has the opportunity to save just over $12 million with a restructure. It seems like an easy decision, but doing so would push his cap number up to around $25 million in both 2023 and 2024.

Tight end Tyler Higbee could be released to save $5.2 million in cap space. However, he appears highly valued and more likely sees his deal restructured. The Rams could shift over $4 million into the future if they utilize void years. That option would not push Higbee’s cap number over $10 million next year and means they could release him for less than $6 million in dead money next offseason.



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Taylor Swift Is Shown Chugging a Beer on the Jumbotron at Super Bowl 58

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Global superstar Taylor Swift made it to the big game to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce. In the second quarter, it was evident that she was having a good time at the Super Bowl after taking a 12-hour flight from Tokyo the night prior.

Taylor Swift Seen Chugging Beer at Super Bowl

Swift’s attendance has been highly anticipated, as many fans questioned whether she would be able to make it to the big game since she had been in Japan until Saturday for her Eras Tour.

Sure enough, she made it to the Super Bowl and was seen making a grand entrance alongside Blake Lively and Ice Spice.

Swift made it back to the States with plenty of time to make it to Allegiant Stadium to support Kelce. After a leg of her Eras Tour, where she performed several nights in Japan, the singer appeared to let loose.

In a box full of friends, Swift was shown chugging a beer with Ashley Avignone. She was shown on the jumbotron and slammed her cup down after she finished her beer.

There was a mix of cheers and boos as Swift was shown on the big screen, and a long pass to Mecole Hardman was the only highlight of the first half for Swift and her friends. The 49ers led the Chiefs, 10-0, late in the second quarter.

On social media, Swift garnered plenty of support from NFL fans.

If you’re hating on her you can kick rocks man she’s the best,” one user posted on X

“The one thing I learned this season is that she is actually fun,” another said. 

“Booing Taylor Swift chugging a beer is so soft. She’s just one of us now and I respect it ,” another posted. 

At the time of the beer chugging, Kelce, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, has had one catch for a single yard. It came on the first possession, which ended up being a three-and-out. The Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t done much otherwise.

They did have a deep pass play to Hardman, which put them in the red zone, but Isiah Pacheco fumbled on the very next play — one that Kelce was surprisingly on the sideline for.

Swift and Kelce have garnered much media attention as their romance has taken off throughout this NFL season.

Swift was able to support her boyfriend at many of his games throughout the final stretch of the season, as her Eras Tour was on a break. But starting on Feb. 7, she went back on the road.

MORE: NFL World Reacts to Unbelievable Super Bowl Trick Play

Despite performing in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, she was able to make it in time to support her boyfriend due to the time difference and is having a good time doing so.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.



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What Happened to the 49ers Linebacker?

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The San Francisco 49ers sustained a massive blow during the second quarter of Super Bowl 58, as linebacker Dre Greenlaw left the game on a medical cart.

CBS Sports confirmed that the veteran Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear, ruling him out for the rest of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Happened to Dre Greenlaw?

The outside linebacker, who had already been battling past injuries to his hamstrings and calves, left with what appeared to be a leg injury.

And somehow, his left leg looked like it buckled as he tried to trot onto the field with the Niners’ defense.

Greenlaw clutched his left leg in agony before being helped off the field.

CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported that the outside linebacker left with what was ruled as a lower leg injury. He was later determined to sustain an Achilles injury.

Greenlaw was declared out for the rest of the game.

Greenlaw Carted Off in Passenger Seat

Even more noticeable was where Greenlaw sat on the cart.

He ended up leaving not in the back of the medical vehicle but ended up riding shotgun with his leg injury.

One would think that with an injury like an Achilles ailment, medical officials would try to make the player as comfortable as possible before they leave. It wasn’t the case here.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

Regardless, Greenlaw was replaced by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles for the rest of the first half. Greenlaw became the most significant injury of the game.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.



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NFL World Reacts to Epic Super Bowl Intro From CBS

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Super Bowl 58 is here and it’s going to be exciting. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the final game of 2023.

CBS is broadcasting the game and the opening was nothing short of amazing. How is the NFL world reacting to the electric Super Bowl-opening video?

Epic CBS Super Bowl Intro Garners Reaction From NFL World

The video, which spanned four minutes and 19 seconds, featured players from both teams talking about the big game and what it means to them. It also featured their families talking about their journeys to this point.

“Amazing intro! Reminds me of my dad! Bravo on the intro!,” one NFL fan said on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Additionally, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background, giving it a near-movie feel. “This was incredible.,” another person said on X. “And so, the @49ers and @Chiefs face that final curtain,” CBS Sports said.

The 49ers finished the regular season as the top seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record. After their first-round bye, they defeated both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to earn their trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. Both of their victories came in comeback fashion, including an NFC Championship-record 17-point comeback.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a more uphill battle. Entering the playoffs as the AFC’s third seed, they finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens to punch their ticket.

Super Bowl 58 is a re-match of Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-24. The win was the first in Patrick Mahomes career, as he also won Super Bowl MVP. Four years later, the Chiefs have made three more and won another. For the 49ers, this is their first trip back to the big game since.

The game kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the 49ers receiving the opening kick. In addition to being broadcast on CBS, the game is also being streamed on Paramount+.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.



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