It’s not just the Rams who are on the verge of being priced out of free agency, it could happen to any team. The salary cap has led to a more level playing field in terms of player salaries and teams have been able to accumulate talent through trades or by finding a bargain rookie some place other than their own backyard.
The Rams can’t afford to be priced out in free agency. They are already a small market team, and they have the smallest payroll in the league. If they don’t get some help this offseason, their window of opportunity will close.
Von Miller is eager to rejoin the Los Angeles Rams. Why wouldn’t he want to run it back with the club that gave him his second ring, fresh off a Super Bowl victory?
For both sides, the difficulty is that Miller has never been a free agent before, so he wants to at least test the waters. This summer, the Rams will also make some significant financial changes. They’re now $13 million above the limit as of this writing.
The Rams, on the other hand, must make it work.
In 2021, Von Miller was a huge asset for the Los Angeles Rams.
During the first half against the San Francisco 49ers, Von Miller #40 of the Los Angeles Rams looks on | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
When the Rams acquired Miller in the middle of the season, there were some doubts about his overall efficiency. They traded a second and third-round selection to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a guy who was unquestionably a superstar in name and reputation, but who was coming off an ankle injury and not quite his normal explosive self.
The Rams’ demands, on the other hand, were reasonable. Miller’s ability to carry a defense, as he did for many years in Denver, was not required. Miller was required as a boost for LA’s already powerful defensive front. With Jalen Ramsey covering the air behind them, Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd were getting the job done, but Miller was sent in to finish the job.
To LA’s credit, he was a good match.
Miller concluded the regular season with five sacks and a forced fumble for the Los Angeles Rams. With four sacks (two in the Super Bowl), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one pass defense in the playoffs, he was a standout.
Miller and the Rams have a shared interest, but he wants to be compensated.
Von Miller has put up an instagram post on his story that would suggest is time with the Rams is far from over. He wants to run it back. Free agency starts March 14th… pic.twitter.com/Ezf3XYTIdk
— DOWNTOWN RAMS [DTR] (@DowntownRams) March 6, 2022
Since 2011, Miller has been a member of the NFL, yet he has never been a free agent. Of course, he’s earned a lot of money because the Broncos were ready to sign him until this past season, but he’s never been on the free market.
Inside the NFL Network While Miller has loved his time in Los Angeles, Mike Garafolo stated before the Super Bowl that he is “expected to thoroughly explore” free agency.
It also makes logic. At 32 years old, this is likely his final shot to get a big deal, particularly after demonstrating that he can still be a valuable member of a defense.
“I’m told there’s mutual interest in his returning and that they both want him back, but he’s one of the best pass rushers available in free agency.” We’ll see if he can price himself out of LA or if they can figure out where he wants to be financially and get together,” NFL source Ian Rapoport stated recently.
This summer, the Rams will have to make some big money moves.
After Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, Von Miller #40 of the Los Angeles Rams puts up the Vince Lombardi Trophy | Rob Carr/Getty Images
Miller seems to be a good match, and the Rams have a good chance to keep their Super Bowl window open this offseason if they play their cards well.
However, freeing up money for Miller is critical, because although he may not want a lengthy deal, it seems that he does want to be paid what he believes he is worth.
That’s where LA’s vexing salary cap figure comes into play. As previously said, the Rams are $13 million above the salary limit, so they’ll have to work hard to re-sign Miller. He’s not the only free agent that LA would want to bring back. Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a major ACL injury (his second on the same knee), but Aaron Donald made it clear after the Super Bowl that one of the conditions of his returning rather than retiring is that the whole band reunite.
After the Super Bowl, he told TMZ, “If we bring everyone back, I’m returning.” He especially mentioned OBJ and Miller.
So, how did the Rams do it?
First and foremost, Matthew Stafford’s current deal expires in 2022. If the Rams extend him, as they should, they will be able to shift some money into the future, freeing up salary space for 2022.
A new deal for Donald would be just another domino to fall for the Rams.
“He hasn’t really committed himself to the Rams yet.” They think he’ll return, and there’s been some movement in that direction, but nothing has been confirmed,” Rapoport added.
According to Rapoport, they’re talking about giving Donald a “raise,” and renegotiating Donald’s deal is another way the Rams may earn money for Miller and perhaps OBJ.
If the Rams intend to “run it back,” whatever they do it, not being outbid for Miller on the free market is a huge step in the right direction.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
RELATED: Von Miller’s Best Destinations for 2022 NFL Free Agency
The “rams salary cap” is a term used to describe how much money an NFL team has in their salary cap. The Rams are having trouble with this because they have been priced out of free agency.
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