The L.A. Rams have three players making over $20 million against the salary cap in 2024 and none of them are expected to be cap casualty candidates, if for no better reason than they can’t be released to save cap space.
Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp would only seem to have two clear paths in 2024, which is to return to the Rams or retire.
Beyond those three, the Rams have four players making over $5 million and two of them are all but certain to be cut for cap savings: Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen. Everyone else seems to be safe, barring an unforeseen trade or post-June 1 release.
Joe Noteboom: $15 million dead money, $5 million cap savings
Noteboom has a $20 million cap hit in 2024, a lot for a backup, so there is no good reason for the Rams to keep him this year.
Even though it is only $5 million in cap savings, that’s $5 million that can be spent one someone who is not a backup, utility player.
Noteboom should be released prior to his $5 million roster bonus being exercised on the fifth day of the 2024 league year, which is in March. L.A. will save the $10 million non-guaranteed base salary as well, giving them $15 million in total cash savings.
The only reason there isn’t more savings is that Noteboom has two void years that the Rams must account for when he’s released.
If the L.A. Rams release Noteboom with a post-June 1 designation, they will save $15 million this year, but $10 million less in 2025.
Also, the money would not be available until June. The Rams are not allowed to release a player with a post-June 1 designation in order to have more money for the cap space to sign a player in March, which is why it is a “post-June 1 designation”.
The money would only be necessary if the Rams are worried about needing money in the fall and during the season. L.A. is projected with $27.7 million in total cap space for 2024, but the number is actually much smaller than that when you account for draft picks, practice squad, re-signing players, etc.
Brian Allen: $3.15 million dead money, $4.9 million cap savings
Cutting Allen is even more straightforward than Noteboom. The team saves about $5 million and that’s too good to pass up for a backup center.
Allen has a $1 million roster bonus coming, so he should be released before then. He also has two void years.