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Los Angeles Rams ‘punishment’ strategy for this season will lead to huge amount of cap space in 2024

The Los Angeles Rams don’t have big expectations this season, however, whatever positives they can have they will take into an offseason where they are expected to have a massive amount of salary cap space to use in NFL free agency.

Winning a Super Bowl always has a long-term cost, but it is one every franchise is willing to pay in order to achieve one of the most difficult tasks in professional sports. In the case of the Los Angeles Rams, the organization had major salary cap issues to confront after winning their championship two years ago.

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Unfortunately for them, the massive payroll they developed in recent seasons did not lead to a winning team when they tried to defend their title in 2022.

That is why the organization took a very unique approach to this season. Instead of making some smaller changes and trying to find ways to massage their salary cap to build a team that can contend for a playoff spot, they moved some of their best players in the offseason and made a very clear decision. This year would be about taking it on the chin and eating every bit of dead money they had on their payroll.

Los Angeles Rams to clear close to $80 million in dead money this season

los angeles rams
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the strategy has meant serious limitations in improving the roster for 2023, it offers massive upside for the team in the years ahead. On Sunday morning, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter wrote about that fact and detailed the huge sum of money the team will have at their disposal next Spring.

“Los Angeles is absorbing salary cap punishment this season and clearing the decks for next season,” Schefter wrote. “According to league sources, the Rams are carrying $75 million of dead money against their salary cap in 2023 but have no dead money counting against their 2024 salary cap.”

That is quite a revelation. Every NFL team deals with dead money on their yearly payrolls. Yet, the Rams are one of the few teams that are trying to clear all of it in one season with the idea of leaning on their head coach to make them more competitive than they should be this season and start with a fresh cap in the next.

At least for one week, the tactic has delivered promising results as Los Angeles shocked many with a dominant 30-13 win over the Seahawks in NFL Week 1.

Schefter also mentioned the Los Angeles Rams’ upside in 2024 is bolstered by the team also owning many premium draft picks in the years ahead, including their first-rounder next year.