Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Morning Ram-blings: Creating cap space
By Nick Wagoner
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- With free agency fast approaching, teams without much salary cap space such as the St. Louis Rams begin exploring ways to save a little money without making the roster worse.
Some teams have already begun making the cuts or restructuring the contracts to provide some needed cap relief. Others, like the Rams, will have those decisions to make before free agency officially begins March 11.
Over at cbssports.com, Jason La Canfora offered his take on some possible cuts for each team in the league. To nobody's surprise, the Rams name brought up first is that of cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who carries a $10 million price tag in 2014. The piece also mentions center Scott Wells and guard Harvey Dahl.
None of those three names should come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. The trio is the most likely to either be released outright or restructured to create money. Releasing the three of them could create in the neighborhood of $15 million in cap space. Finnegan has a $3 million roster bonus coming his way but his contract has offset language which means the Rams could realize between $4 million and $7 million depending on how much he would sign for elsewhere.
Of course, the report also makes mention of quarterback Sam Bradford, a mention which set off another round of speculation about his future with the team. Despite the persistent rumors, the Rams have done and said nothing either privately or publicly to indicate that anyone but Bradford will be the team's quarterback in 2014.
I suppose I understand the speculation given Bradford's price tag and injury issues but it's a conversation that seems to be a non-starter in the walls of Rams Park.
A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we looked at the recent uptick in media types connecting the dots between the Rams and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins. ... Next, we took a look at the franchise tag and the fact that the Rams are almost certain to not use any of the tags this year. ... From there, we revisited the Rams Mount Rushmore with your Twitter selections. ... Finally, we began counting down to the combine with a look at how South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney can help himself this week.
Our NFL Nation reporters surveyed 51 anonymous NFL players on how they'd feel about playing with an openly gay player.
Columnist Ashley Fox writes that the Wells report should help pave the way for a better workplace for Michael Sam.
At SI.com, Chris Burke adds more fuel to the Bradford fire.
For your daily dose of mock draft action, Rotoworld's Josh Norris takes his latest stab and includes trades in the proceedings.
CBSSports.com also offered a Rams' offseason preview.