Suarez with a stunner.
|—||Pope Francis - link|
I realize we are still in the 2013 season, but there is no better time to think about the future then the present right? Let’s begin. Let’s look at the 2014 Rams financial situation.
At this point for 2014, the Rams have total liabilities of: $122,506,440. The projected salary cap is: $125,982,306. That leaves the Rams only (you guessed it!) $3,475,866 in cap room for 2014 already.
That means we need to get to work. Let’s start at the top - the superstars:
(All numbers and calculations via Over the Cap, one of the best sites on the planet, but I’ve moved the data into Excel so I could move the columns around a bit.)
42,710,000 cap number already!
These three are easy, they all stay, despite what the haters say about Sam Bradford. Bradford has a massively high base salary so he’s ripe for a restructure that will push back some of the pain from this year to next and beyond, but the Rams never are interested in doing those type of tricks, they want to pay now and not push the payments later. But, the Rams have shown a willingness to extend Sam Bradford’s contract that currently runs though the 2015 season. That seems like a more realistic approach rather than cutting Bradford and starting from scratch.
Luckily, a benchmark has recently been set for a former number 1 overall selection, under the old rookie contract deals with Matthew Stafford. Stafford received a 3 year extension before the 2013 season, giving Stafford another $41.5 million guaranteed.
If the Rams apply that formula to Sam Bradford contract (despite the difference in passing numbers between the two) we could lower the cap number for Sam Bradford for 2014 to $13,095,000. (It also lowers his cap number in 2015 to $11,095,000, before the hits increase in 2016.) Not sure the Bradford camp would want to renegotiate this offseason, but presented with a lucrative Matthew Stafford like guarantee, there’s no reason they would turn it down.
The next tier - the prime starters:
(William Hayes isn’t technically a starter, but he’s key in the DL rotation, so we will include him.)
Cortland Finnegan is as good as cut as far as I’m concerned. The Rams can save $4 mil by cutting him and save a whopping $9 mil if they mark him as a June 1st cut!
Harvey Dahl is also a free cut, as the Rams can save $4 million by cutting him and take on no dead money to do so. Thanks for your service Harvey.
Now, the Rams cap room is up to $16,475,866 just like that!
Next tier, the young guns:
(Anyone with red in the cap savings is uncut-able because they would cost more off the team than on.)
Isaiah Pead is the only questionable one in this group. In 2013 he would have cost more off the team than on, but in 2014, removing him from the team offers a small cap savings. So, let’s remove him, and get a little extra wiggle room by pushing his cut to June 1st. His cap hit is now a mere $344,200.
And now the final group signed for 2014:
Mike Person, Phillip Steward and Graham Pocic are all gone with the dead money limited to $3,333.
That now gives the Rams $18,864,632 in cap room for 2014. Let’s look at where the Rams need players and where they will have to pay to fill spots.
RB: Stacy, Cunningham
OT: Long, Barksdale
C: Wells, Jones
TE: Cook, Kendricks, Harkey
WR: Givens, Pettis, Austin, Quick, Bailey
DT: Langford, Brockers, Cudjo
DE: Long, Quinn, Hayes, Sims, Rivers
CB: Jenkins, Johnson, McGee
S: McDonald, Daniels, McLeod, Davis, Bates, Armstrong
Starters would needed at both guard spots, OLB and S. Depending on how the Rams staff feel about Barksdale and Quick, upgrades at WR and RT could be necessary as well.
However, with $18 million in cap room, the Rams could go a lot of different ways with their offseason. They could sign a player like Jarius Byrd for $8 mil a year to play safety or pick HaHa Clinton-Dix instead. They could pick up a free agent guard or two, or resign Rodger Saffold to play there or draft a replacement in the 2nd round.
Alkaline Trio has long been one of my favorite bands and were no bigger to me than 1997 through 2000 in St. Louis as a high school kid. Their “modest following” didn’t seem so modest to me as a “StL ska/punk scene kid” as every show they played in St. Louis was packed to the gills with sweaty kids who (including myself) knew every word and every riff as the mass of humanity in the pit undulated back and forth and jumped as one. It was probably that my world seemed much smaller then as the Internet was really just getting started and my hometown was all I knew.
I’m sure this seems a little hipster hindsight, but Alkaline Trio was my whole world after I went to a random show at the Galaxy on Washington Ave (I’m not sure who was even playing or who we were there for) before Washington Ave was the party destination it was today. Back then it was just empty lots and random dusty storefronts.
Usually me and my friend Neal (and whomever we could convince to come with us) would sit out on the stinky, dirty street in a line along the building and around the corner to wait for the doors to open at every show (get there an hour before doors to get a good spot in the randomly shaped Galaxy)… but this random show in 1997 seemed larger than most because everyone was there to see Alkaline Trio. Trio had to cancel that night, but it didn’t take me long to see them again.
Alkaline Trio was the biggest thing in my little world. Neal and I used to air guitar every song on that album in drafting class with T-squares as guitars. We were that good. I guess I should have put good in quotes there.
Even though their albums got bigger since that time, I couldn’t help thinking that it didn’t seem “the same” to me. Maybe it was me that changed?
I went to more Trio shows later, including big venues in Boston, and was quite surprised that everyone didn’t cheer the loudest for the old stuff… at least that’s what we all used to call for.
I’m not sure why I wrote this and what I’m really trying to say, but that random description on Spotify made me want to put keyboard to screen. But I guess I’m glad I was one of that “modest following” back in the late 90s.
Fresh fruit at a morning meeting? I’m in.
The St. Louis Rams had the #1 pick in 2010, the #2 pick in 2008, 2009 and 2012 and for those picks they have received:
2010: QB Sam Bradford (CarAV: 20)
2009: OT Jason Smith (CarAV: 9)
2008: DE Chris Long (CarAV: 31)
DT Michael Brockers (CarAV: 6)
CB Janoris Jenkins (CarAV: 8)
RB Isiah Pead (CarAV: 0)
OT Rokevious Watkins (CarAV: 0)
OLB Alec Ogletree (CarAV -)
WR Stedman Bailey (CarAV -)
RB Zac Stacy (CarAV -)
Washington’s First Rounder
Let’s leave 2012 alone, because it would be a mess to try to unravel that one, but let’s take a look at what would have happened if the Rams had had their terrible seasons on slightly different years.
2010: Sam Bradford + or - 1 year:
The Rams could have had Matthew Stafford (CarAV: 33) or Cam Newton (CarAV: 34). Edge Newton in 2011. More talent and more AV in less years.
2009: Jason Smith + or - 1 year:
The choice is between 2010 and Ndamukong Suh (CarAV: 32) or 2008 and Chris Long. Edge for Suh and his lack of impulse control.
2008: Chris Long + or 1 1 year:
No offense to Chris, but 2007 #2 overall pick is Calvin Johnson. No brainer. (CarAV: 56)
So, if the Rams instead had the #1 overall pick in 2011, the #2 pick overall in 2007, 2010 and 2012 they would have Cam Newton throwing to Calvin Johnson with Ndamukong Suh on defense. It is quite interesting to see how the Rams luck (or lack there of) has played into their draft positions and player acquistions.
But wait, let’s continue the exchange. Since the Rams can’t have 2 picks in 1 season, the Rams have to trade around to make the history work.
Since the Rams are now taking Calvin Johnson in 2007, they can’t have taken Adam Carriker in 2007 (CarAV: 22). Good riddance. Let’s move the 13th overall pick to 2008. They are adding RB Jonathan Stewart instead. (CarAV: 30)
Since the Rams are now taking Cam Newton in 2011, they can’t have taken Robert Quinn in 2011. Since the only other open year at this point is 2009, we will have to jump back and give the Rams #14 overall in 2009: CB/S Malcolm Jenkins. (CarAV: 23)
The only downside here is losing Robert Quinn and Chris Long, but depsite Suh, the Rams would have a distinct lack of defensive ends!