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Friday, September 13, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Getting cap creative

By Nick Wagoner

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It's nothing out of the ordinary for teams to look for new and creative ways to find salary-cap space at this time of year. Teams up against the cap will restructure contracts, make cuts, trade players or all of the above in order to open up some money. The Rams have been active in that regard in recent weeks, not least of which includes the release of linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

Sliding under the radar a bit, though, was a creative move to create a little more room by reworking the contract of guard Harvey Dahl. The move actually happened close to the beginning of the month, but it went relatively unnoticed because of other roster happenings. Kevin Demoff, the Rams' chief operating officer/vice president of football operations/salary-cap guru, found a way to move money around in Dahl's contract and save the Rams in the neighborhood of $1.25 million against the salary cap.

The move is a bit involved, and the fine folks at Over the Cap have a better explanation of the move than I can offer.

The upshot is that the move saves the Rams some money this year, giving them some wiggle room in case there are injuries and for the practice squad. In exchange for taking a "pay cut," Dahl got a big chunk of guaranteed money up front, and he still has a chance to earn the rest of the money originally due to him with some reasonable incentives.

Dahl's contract is still scheduled to expire after the 2014 season. Coming off arm surgery last year, Dahl played well against Arizona last week. This week he gets to go back to Atlanta, the place where he was before the Rams signed him to a four-year, $16 million deal in 2011.

I.C.Y.M.I. 

Our daily look at all things Rams that were covered right here in this corner of cyberspace. ... We kicked off Wednesday's activity with this week's version of "Double Coverage" where Pat Yasinskas and I kicked around some topics on this week's Rams-Falcons game. ... Then I offered a quick take on Mike Sando's Insider piece Insider on Sam Bradford and the disconnect between the traditional passer rating and our total QBR. ... In sticking to the Insider theme, we then took a look at Mel Kiper Jr.'s first rookie rankings Insider, where Rams LB Alec Ogletree checked in at No. 11. ... In the daily Injury Wire report, RB Daryl Richardson (foot) returned to practice on a limited basis and DE Chris Long was also limited because of a hip injury. ... Finally, we took a deeper look at Rams DE Robert Quinn and discussed his quick start against Arizona and ways he can continue to evolve in 2013.

Elsewhere

Over at the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, columnist Bernie Miklasz gave his take on an important matchup for the Rams against the Falcons. Miklasz offered that the Rams' defensive line appears to have a favorable situation against an Atlanta offensive line that was shaky last week against the Saints. From what I saw from both sides, it's hard to disagree with that stance. It's one matchup where the Rams could really change the game.

Beat writer Jim Thomas gave a good look at how the Rams are approaching facing Atlanta RB Steven Jackson.

Fellow beat writer Joe Lyons discussed RB Isaiah Pead's return to the mix this week after a one-game suspension.

Quinn appeared on NFL Network on Thursday and offered up a potential nickname for he and Long.

It's a couple weeks old, but if you need something uplifting to start your day, check out this piece on Rams S Matt Daniels and his special friend.