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Los Angeles Rams salary cap situation heading into 2022



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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Calendar for NFL Draft, OTAs, Training Camp, and More




The 2023 NFL offseason schedule is here. The NFL never sleeps, and the league has been consumed with free agency and draft preparations since the Super Bowl concluded in early February.

With the Scouting Combine and the first wave of free agency in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead at the rest of the NFL offseason. Here are the most important 2023 NFL offseason dates, from workout programs through to the preseason.

2023 NFL Offseason Schedule

Offseason Workout Programs

NFL teams’ offseason workout schedule depends on the status of their head coach. Clubs that hired a new head coach after the 2022 campaign can start their program two weeks earlier than teams that retained their head coach. Here is when each team can begin its offseason workouts.

April 10
Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts

April 11
Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans

April 17
Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders

April 24
Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Draft

April 27-29
The 2023 NFL Draft will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, the home of the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Carolina Panthers own the No. 1 overall pick after acquiring the selection from the Chicago Bears in a March trade.

Rookie Minicamps

The NFL will release the dates for rookie minicamps at a later time. These three-day sessions are typically held in mid-May.

NFL Schedule Release

The date of the NFL schedule release has not yet been announced. Last year’s schedule was released on May 12, and the 2022 schedule should be announced around the same time this year.


NFL teams can hold organized team activities (OTAs) for a total of 10 days during May and June. Some clubs host these workouts in two blocks, while others spread it over as many as five or six different sessions.

This year, OTAs will begin the week of May 22 and conclude as late as June 15 for some teams.

NFL Supplemental Draft and Franchise Tag Extension Deadline

The NFL has skipped the supplemental draft in each of the last three years, and it’s unclear whether the league will have it return in 2023. The last supplemental draft (2019) occurred in late July, and the same timeframe will likely be used if the NFL decides to hold one again.

MORE: 2023 NFL Salary Cap Space by Team

Teams will have until July 17 to reach long-term agreements with players who have been assigned the franchise tag. If no extension can be worked out by that date, the player will have to spend the 2023 campaign on the franchise tag.

Training Camp and NFL Preseason

Teams’ training camp start dates are tied to their preseason start date. The first game of the 2023 NFL preseason will be the Hall of Fame game on Thursday, Aug. 3. That contest will feature the New York Jets facing off with the Cleveland Browns in Canton, Ohio. The rest of the NFL will likely start their exhibition season within the following week to 10 days.

NFL veterans can report to training no earlier than 15 days before their club’s first preseason game. Rookies can be asked to report a week before those veteran players.

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Dalton Kincaid Out, Blake Freeland Continues Climb, and More




Next up on the NFL Pro Day schedule: Utah, BYU, and Penn State. Let’s dive into the latest news and rumors surrounding Dalton Kincaid, Blake Freeland, and Juice Scruggs, as well as the other headlines coming out of Utah, BYU, and Penn State.

Pro Day News and Rumors | Dalton Kincaid Did Not Test for Utah

The attendance sheet for Utah’s Pro Day, which took place Thursday, stretched two pages long and included Bengals DBs coach Charlie Burks, Chargers TEs coach Kevin Kroger, and Saints assistant OL coach Kevin Carberry. Directors of college scouting from the Chiefs, Vikings, Raiders, and Colts were also on hand.

For starters, I tweeted out Thursday that tight end Dalton Kincaid would not participate in the testing, just as he didn’t during the Combine. Rest assured, there’s nothing nefarious going on, nor is Kincaid afraid to test. The tight end suffered a small fracture in his back late last season, which has prevented him from working out for scouts.

It was well known back in January that there was a chance Kincaid would not be able to work out for teams before the draft — hence this is a surprise to no one. I’m told there’s still a slight chance the tight end could work out before the draft, but there are no guarantees, and it’ll be a wait-and-see process.

MORE: Pro Day News and Rumors — All Eyes on Will Levis, Stephen F. Austin Standouts, and More

And while scouts would prefer to get marks on Kincaid, no one will deny his tape screams top-40 prospect. The senior is very much the downfield threat teams want at the position these days and plays like a tough, nasty tight end.

Offensive lineman Braeden Daniels, who had a terrific Combine performance, looked outstanding in position drills. Daniels weighed in at 307 pounds, 13 more than his Combine weight, yet easily moved around the field for what seemed an eternity.

The Saints ran the offensive line drills and tried to break Daniels, but the versatile blocker did not relent. Daniels has been steadily rising up draft boards and has cemented himself as a solid middle-round pick. He met with the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and Baltimore Ravens at Utah’s Pro Day.


There was a huge crowd on-site for BYU’s Pro Day, with multiple offensive line coaches in Provo. The Cougars’ top prospects did not disappoint.

Offensive tackle Blake Freeland continues his ascent up draft boards. After a sensational Combine, Freeland looked good at his pro day. He completed 25 reps on the bench press, a terrific number considering his arms measure a shade under 34″. His times in the short shuttle were clocked in the low 4.3s, with a three-cone that came in right around 7.2 seconds — both outstanding marks.

Freeland displayed his athleticism during position drills as offensive line coaches from the New York Jets (who privately worked out Luke Wypler and Paris Johnson Jr. during Ohio State’s Pro Day), Cincinnati Bengals, and New Orleans Saints put him through an excruciating workout that was described as unique.

Freeland did a lot of drills to simulate pulling across the line of scrimmage and was asked to pick up tennis balls on the way. He’s solidified himself as a top-50 pick for a zone-blocking-heavy offense.

Quarterback Jaren Hall had an outstanding throwing session today. He threw more than 50 passes, and many of them had a high degree of difficulty. Hall wasn’t just accurate — he displayed pinpoint pass placement and drove deep passes downfield with speed. The criticism from scouts after the Combine centered on Hall’s footwork dropping into the pockets from center and setting himself to throw.

Some believe that won’t be an issue as Hall will be used out of the gun at the next level more times than not, and when he does line up under center, he’ll be handing the ball off or running some type of boot action and rolling out then throwing on the move. Hall has come across great in interviews, as he’s a mature 25-year-old married man.

The age does not bother teams as we see more quarterbacks playing, and thriving, into their 30s. The Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Indianapolis Colts all have interest in Hall. In fact, Indianapolis has compared Hall to Jalen Hurts, the quarterback developed by new head coach Shane Steichen. Also, keep an eye on the Rams, who are looking to come out of the draft with a No. 2 signal-caller.

Receiver Puka Nacua looked terrific as the recipient of passes delivered by Hall. He was incredibly smooth, ran terrific routes, and even showed another gear. Nacua timed as fast as 4.49 seconds in the 40, despite a tight hip. He missed three weeks of training due to the hip condition and a concussion he suffered during the first day of practice at the Senior Bowl.

Rather than set a date in the future for a private workout, Nacua chose to participate in the pro day. He’s a natural pass catcher with a great head for the position. Nacua will come off the board somewhere in the fourth or fifth round, and he’s being courted by the Jets, Cardinals, and Rams.

Harris LaChance, the offensive tackle who moved into guard last season, measured 6’7″ and 307 pounds, timing 5.17 seconds in the 40 and a very quick 7.34 seconds in the three-cone.

Running back Chris Brooks measured 6’1″, 219 pounds, posted a 37″ vertical jump, and ran well. He timed 4.58 seconds in the 40, 4.18 in the short shuttle, and 7.13 in the three-cone. Brooks looked terrific catching passes from Jaren Hall.

Big Name Decision-makers at Penn State’s Pro Day

Mike McDaniel and Chris Grier of the Miami Dolphins, as well as Ryan Poles of the Chicago Bears, were just a few decision-makers on hand for Penn State’s Pro Day.

Center Juice Scruggs, a Shrine Bowl participant, looked terrific. He timed 4.64 in the short shuttle, an improvement of two-tenths from his Combine mark. He then looked athletic and fundamentally very sound during drills. PFN interviewed Scruggs in Vegas, and he explained why he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

MORE: Key Takeaways From Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Will Levis’ Pro Days

He was forced to take a backseat to Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz and Ohio State’s Luke Wypler in the Big 10. It must be noted Scruggs made the successful transition from guard to center in 2022. Scruggs had dinner with the Bears last night and met at length with the Dolphins at the pro day. Right now, it seems unlikely Scruggs gets past the Bears’ pick, which opens the fourth round.

Safety Ji’Ayir Brown ran 4.62 seconds at the Combine and was slightly faster today, timing 4.58 in the 40. Despite the improvement, he looked slow during drills at Penn State’s Pro Day. The bottom line on Brown? Good football player — poor athlete.

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Best Bets for Orlando Guardians vs. Seattle Sea Dragons Includes Cody Latimer, Quinten Dormady, Ben DiNucci, and Others




If you’re looking for Week 6 XFL Orlando Guardians vs. Seattle Sea Dragons odds, picks, and predictions for this Saturday’s matchup, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

Guardians vs. Sea Dragons Week 6 Odds and Betting Lines

The following odds and betting lines for the Guardians vs. Sea Dragons are as of the evening of Friday, March 24, and come from DraftKings Sportsbook. Clearly, they’re subject to change. That said, barring an unforeseen injury to a significant starter, we should assume that these lines will remain largely intact.

  • Point Spread: Guardians (+9.5)
  • Moneyline: Guardians (+320), Sea Dragons (-390)
  • Over/Under: 42.5 (-110)

Guardians vs. Sea Dragons Picks and Predictions

Full disclosure as always: After going 13-3 on a combined point spread and moneyline of XFL picks in Weeks 3 and 4, I settled into a middling 2-2 performance in Week 5. Fortunately, my struggles with over/unders reversed course, as I finished 3-1.

Of course, much of this gets thrown out the window when we encounter a QB change. Longtime readers know my views on Paxton Lynch, who’s been hanging onto Orlando’s starting QB job by a thread. It took only a few possessions last week for Quinten Dormady to prove he belongs atop the depth chart — at least for now.

To be clear, Dormady has a ways to go to prove he’s the answer to Orlando’s ills. Beating up on the previously winless Vegas Vipers doesn’t make his job safe. Still, Lynch had 4+ games to prove himself.

The Guardians are three games and a tiebreaker out of a playoff spot. MLB’s 1951 New York Giants had a better shot at winning the pennant in mid-July than the Guardians have to reach the postseason. There’s no benefit to trotting out Lynch again. So unless I’m completely mistaken (as I sometimes am, to be honest), this is now Dormady’s offense until/unless he falters more than Lynch did.

This creates a bit of chaos when wagering on this game. How good is Dormady? Because if Lynch were starting, I’d feel far more confident taking the Sea Dragons to cover a lofty point spread. But Dormady is a wild card.

More than that, Dormady is a fascinating story. Earlier this month, he was wrongly accused of giving away the Guardians’ plays to an opposing team and was reportedly released. Then, after a league investigation, he was cleared of wrongdoing. Orlando took him back. Water under the bridge, right?

Nope. Imagine if you were wrongly accused of something at work, fired, and then everyone else in your industry knew that you should never be hired again. And then you’re cleared. Except there’s still an air of distrust.

That’s a lot to deal with. And the fact that Dormady shined when given a shot last weekend says a lot about his ability to put this mess behind him. It also says a lot about his teammates and coaching staff. I’m not sure many non-NFL QBs could have overcome a nearly career-ruining incident so quickly, and as a sudden replacement to a struggling starter.

MORE: 2023 XFL Standings | XFL TV Schedule

Things are more clear-cut in Seattle. After an impressive victory over the previously undefeated Houston Roughnecks, the Sea Dragons have now won three straight. They should beat Orlando, whose defense has yielded 30.4 points per game — including 30 to the offensively struggling San Antonio Brahmas and 35 to the similarly struggling Vipers.

Essentially, the Guardians have elevated opposing offenses. Seattle’s No. 1 in offensive yards per game. So how can Orlando possibly remain competitive?

Well, as alluded to above, their passing attack will need to pick up where it left off. But yes, they’ll need to force some stops on a Sea Dragons unit whose QB leads the league in passing yards, whose lead RB is one yard shy of being co-No. 2 in rushing yards, and whose top two WRs are first and fifth in receiving yards.

This top-heavy offense includes a wide swath of supporting players. But their “big four” (or “big five” if we include the very capable Blake Jackson) are as productive as any XFL team’s top players.

Yet, Ben DiNucci continues to be his own worst enemy. He leads the league with seven interceptions. No other quarterback has more than four. He’s endured five fumbles — more than any other player at any position.

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If Seattle were 1-4, there might be serious talk about DiNucci’s standing atop the depth chart. Because as much as he’s lit up the stat sheet, he’s also been a frequent offensive liability.

I like Orlando keeping this game relatively close. DiNucci still hasn’t demonstrated that he can play close to error-free football in this league. While this matchup is ideal for him and Seattle should post 30+ points, I believe the Guardians’ nothing-to-lose offense will pressure the Sea Dragons enough to keep things interesting.

  • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Guardians (+9.5)
  • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Sea Dragons (-390)
  • Over/Under: Over 42.5 (-110)

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