Rams trying to win now, while Jared Goff is cheap

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The Rams have given big contracts to Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley in recent days, and an even bigger contract for Aaron Donald is likely coming soon. They’ve also acquired expensive players like Ndamukong Suh and Aqib Talib, and four of their holdovers from last year — Andrew Whitworth, Lamarcus Joyner, Michael Brockers and Mark Barron — have cap hits in excess of $10 million.

So how can the Rams afford all this talent?

The answer is that their franchise quarterback, Jared Goff, is on his rookie contract, which makes him a bargain this year, with a salary of less than $3 million and a cap hit of less than $8 million. Goff is a bargain again next year, with a cap hit of less than $9 million, which will be nice when another recent acquisition, Marcus Peters, sees his cap hit balloon up from less than $2 million this year to more than $9 million next year.

In 2020, the Goff bargain comes to an end: He’ll likely be playing either on his fifth-year option, which would be well over $20 million, or be playing on a lucrative new contract, which would also likely pay him well over $20 million a year. At that time, with Goff taking up more cap space, the Rams are going to need to make some tough decisions about where to save cap space elsewhere on the roster.

The best bargains in the NFL are quarterbacks on their rookie contracts. Teams like the Rams with Goff, the Eagles with Carson Wentz, the Texans with Deshaun Watson and the Cowboys with Dak Prescott are set at quarterback and are able to spend far more money on other positions than the teams with quarterbacks on veteran quarterbacks, many of whom make well over $20 million a year.

The Rams recognize what a bargain Goff is, and they want to win now, before that changes.

37 responses to “Rams trying to win now, while Jared Goff is cheap

  1. In my opinion messing with the best defensive in football Aaron Donald is not very smart. I also don’t think they will be able to sign him long term unless they basically guarantee a 3/4 year shortened contract. Will see if the Rams approach works but I have my doubts.

  2. whole lotta big dawgs on that team, its gonna test mcvays leadership to make sure theyre ALL eating. i could see suh challenging donald for dominance and i would NOT wanna be caught in the CROSSFIRE.

  3. This is a brilliant article…I’ve been hammering over and over about the Eagles having the best shot at following the Patriots model for success…They have Nick Foles on a “Tom Brady” like deal…They have tremendous depth to be able to win a Superbowl despite their talented QB getting hurt…Yet the Eagles think they’ll be the exception to the rule that no matter how good your QB is, you can’t win Superbowl if you can’t afford to have depth on your team…The Ravens tried, the Saints tried, the Seahawks tried…but ya know the Patriots have fun winning multiple Superbowls…and the Eagles are happy to have fun winning one Superbowl…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  4. I wonder if they move on from Jared Goff and draft another rookie QB in 2020 to keep these players, since to be honest a lot of quarterbacks can learn Mcvay’s scheme and probably do better than Goff.

  5. Of course they are. Once every team is required to pay their QB $30,000,000/year minimum, it’s a lot harder to put talent around them because there’s less salary cap space available. You can’t pay one person a giant piece of the cap and expect to keep everybody else. Unless you have a QB who is willing to take less to win (see Tom Brady), it’s going to be hard to compete year after year.

    It’d be nice if Aaron would follow Brady’s footsteps and be more interested in championships instead of an extra million or two annually. It’d be nice if my kids could see the Packers win a Super Bowl during their lives!

  6. We’ve witnessed this tale before. Team has a season of success, invests heavily, then regresses. Hopefully the Rams don’t because they’re fun to watch, but spending big tends to shorten those runs.

  7. The Rams are being smart. When you’re a super bowl contender, you can attract quality free agent veterans who have been around, made a lot of money, but have never played on a winning team. Those guys will sign for less than market value for a shot at a ring. I also expect Goff to get much better over the next few years, so they haven’t even come close to the team they’re going to be. Sean McVay is possibly the best head coach we’ve seen in a long time. This show is just getting started.

  8. charliecharger says:
    July 25, 2018 at 7:45 am
    The Rams are being smart. When you’re a super bowl contender, you can attract quality free agent veterans who have been around, made a lot of money, but have never played on a winning team. Those guys will sign for less than market value for a shot at a ring. I also expect Goff to get much better over the next few years, so they haven’t even come close to the team they’re going to be. Sean McVay is possibly the best head coach we’ve seen in a long time. This show is just getting started.

    Who exactly have they signed for cheap?? Suh got what 14 mil and Talib is making a ton… There are a few teams that could claim they are the premiere destination spot. NO, Minn, Philly and that yhese teams have in common is they actually won a playoff game last year. McVay is an up and coming coach but best we’ve seen in a while is very premature. Chip Kelly’s offense looked great the first year or two as well and we know how that went. Not hating on the Rams they will be competing, but let’s pump the brakes a bit and use facts. Super bowl destination… more like 3rd or 4th best team in the conference at this point.

  9. But, this means they have to win it all this year. The odds of that are not good considering the strength of the NFC.

    This is directly tied to Krneke wanting to drum up excitement for PSL purchases

    The only time this has worked is with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks and that’s because they had a gazillion high 1st rd picks because they were so crappy, and then they stumbled into Wilson.

    But, that’s an aberration, not the norm. It won’t work.

  10. These are brilliant moves by the Rams. They are trying to do more than just win a Super Bowl. They are trying to win the fans of LA and its working. Big picture, folks.


    Philly Fan

  11. officialgame says:
    July 25, 2018 at 6:58 am
    In my opinion messing with the best defensive in football Aaron Donald is not very smart. I also don’t think they will be able to sign him long term unless they basically guarantee a 3/4 year shortened contract. Will see if the Rams approach works but I have my doubts.

    9 10 Rate This

    —————————

    Goff will be standing there after this season, looking for his 25 mil per. The fact they think they are above the salary cap, is something the league needs to monitor. I think Denver cheated the cap with Peyton Manning and all those enormous contracts recently, but with Goodell in charge, any cheating is possible with himi, possibly ignnoring the cheating.

    When Denver was building their new stadium, after decades of sellouts and support, they cheated the cap to drum up more ticket sales and support to offset the costs in 1995, 1996 and 1997. They signed every high priced FA available in two offseasons and everyone was wondering how they did it with so many veteran, pricey players.

    The same thing appears to be happening here, with incredible overpayments to players just getting whatever they want all at once.

    There is no way they can afford Donald, as he should command 17+ mil per based on him being the best player on defense, in the entire league.

  12. charliecharger says:
    July 25, 2018 at 7:45 am
    The Rams are being smart. When you’re a super bowl contender, you can attract quality free agent veterans who have been around, made a lot of money, but have never played on a winning team. Those guys will sign for less than market value for a shot at a ring. I also expect Goff to get much better over the next few years, so they haven’t even come close to the team they’re going to be. Sean McVay is possibly the best head coach we’ve seen in a long time. This show is just getting started.

    10 14 Rate This

    ——————————

    Wow. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about here. IN 2016, the Cardinals were the soup du jour media team. How they doing now?

    If you do not respect cap health, you will lose.

    It’s why 75% of the league is in a cap hell or rebuilding with “tons of cap space” (Jets), for teams that are arrogant and think a team like the Pats just accidentally walk away from a Jamie Collins or Chandler Jones just because.

    If you suck for a while and then collect picks, and you happen to hit, you can’t just turn around and pay them all under the cap. It’s impossible.

    The irony of them hitting on Donald, with potential of a future HOFer, and them running around tossing draft picks for old man Talib, horrible leader and overrated Suh, paying Cooks like he’s a #1 when he can’t hold Edelman’s jock, etc.

    Either you get it as a franchise, or you’re mirroring the Jets. Enjoy!

  13. Same thing is going to happen with the Eagles and Wentz and Texans with Watson. They are both going to command $30 million per year and it’s going to be a disaster for those teams. Look what happened with the Ravens and their massive contract they gave Flacco.

  14. There will be a QB bubble burst, the thing is this, to many HUGE contracts to guys who haven’t won a thing. Players like Brees kept the Saints competitive thru years of putrid defenses, he deserves big money.

  15. patfic5 says:
    July 25, 2018 at 8:23 am
    Reminds me of the Skins in the early 2000s. I could see regression this year.
    —-
    Not really. Back then the Skins were bringing in big name free agents who were in their mid to late 30s and well past their prime and paying them top end salaries. Guys like Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith. The Rams are bringing in free agents still in their prime and still capable of making a pro bowl or even all pro team.

  16. I love how everyone makes them out to be world beaters. Most of the team is young, and all these star players have never played together.

    Gurley is talented, but on paper the receivers are average. Cupp is a decent slot receiver but Cooks is over rated. Goeff is not all that great. The defense on paper looks good, but that doesn’t mean anything. I still consider NO, MN, and Philly more talented than this team.

    Minnesota – has had a top 5 defense of players have been together a long time for the past 3 years. They have the best WR duo in the league right now in Diggs and Theilan. Dalvin Cook could be a great RB, and Cousin’s could be good. We’ll find out how he does on a solid team.

    NO- Probably the most balanced team. Up and coming defense, and a great offense. Best RB duo if you ask me, ok WR’s, and a HOF QB.

    Philly – Absolute juggernaut on offense. Best coaching of last year. Very sound in the trenches son both sides of the balls.

    The Rams could be good but you can’t just sign a bunch of players and assume it will work. The NFC is a meat grinder.

  17. Kind of like what Philadelphia did with two good quarterbacks who are paid below market value. One is playing under the rookie contract and the other was getting paid as a backup. Teams like that can load up on talent in other positions.

  18. everyone is talking about the Rams being in cap hell. Do you honestly think they don’t have experts and analysts looking at all aspects of this? They have a team of people who are dedicated to running all these scenarios. Do you think they pick these numbers at random? They have a clearly defined budget (salary cap), they know the constraints. They have a plan, and I trust they know what they are doing way more than us armchair GMs do.

  19. my_old_name_was_offensive says:

    July 25, 2018 at 7:19 am

    This is a brilliant article…I’ve been hammering over and over about the Eagles having the best shot at following the Patriots model for success…They have Nick Foles on a “Tom Brady” like deal…They have tremendous depth to be able to win a Superbowl despite their talented QB getting hurt…Yet the Eagles think they’ll be the exception to the rule that no matter how good your QB is, you can’t win Superbowl if you can’t afford to have depth on your team…The Ravens tried, the Saints tried, the Seahawks tried…but ya know the Patriots have fun winning multiple Superbowls…and the Eagles are happy to have fun winning one Superbowl…¯

    I don’t understand what you’re saying about the Eagles here that they have no depth–their depth was tested last year when they won a SB without their All Pro LT, their Pro Bowl LB, their Pro Bowl RB, their Pro Bowl QB, their all everything safety and one of the best kickers in the league.

    They lost 2 people off the DL and signed 2 All Pros; they lost a nickel corner but have an abundance of young talent at CB to find one; their QB room is unmatched in the league; so I don’t know what you’re talking about when you say they have no depth. They return 19 of 22 starters, signed/traded for 2 more, and more or less have the same team that was tested through 19 games last year and are SB Champions.

  20. Doom and gloom
    Doom and gloom

    How do Ram fans get out of bed in the morning? Every trade, every contract signing this offseason was a mistake.

    Maybe the Rams should go back to what they were doing from 2005-2016. It worked so well.

  21. The only time this has worked is with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks and that’s because they had a gazillion high 1st rd picks because they were so crappy, and then they stumbled into Wilson.
    ======

    Lynch – trade
    Wagner – 2nd
    Sherman – 5th
    Chancellor – 5th
    Tate – 2nd
    Russ – 3rd
    Baldwin – UDFA
    Bennett – UDFA

    Only 4 of 22 starters were 1st rounders. Earl being the only blue-chipper.

    You know nothing, as per usual.

  22. The Rams are in WIN NOW Mode as they wont be this good next year and will lose a lot of guys currently on the top such as Joyner, Talib, Suh, Whitworth, Saffold etc. The LA Rams will not be good much longer as they cannot pay everyone. Goff will cost north of 130+M, Donald north of 100M+, Peters will want 75-80M+, Cooks just signed for 87M+, Gurley 60M+, Kupp will come due so will Woods, Joyner is going want 60M+ and likely wont be there next year, I could go on and on and on. Suh & Talib will be gone next year. The OL is old and aged, on something like 4 NFL OT’s in NFL History have played 12 or more games @ age 36, Whitworth turns 37 this year and started steeply declining & slowing over the last 4-5 games/weeks last season, John Sullivan is injury prone and old @ 33, Saffold is very injury prone and older at 31, Jamon Brown is out for the first few games and not good at all. Without a good line Goff is not good. IF LA Doesnt win this season it could all come crashing down very quickly.

  23. When Denver was building their new stadium, after decades of sellouts and support, they cheated the cap to drum up more ticket sales and support to offset the costs in 1995, 1996 and 1997. They signed every high priced FA available in two offseasons and everyone was wondering how they did it with so many veteran, pricey players.
    =====

    Denver won 2 Super Bowls with that approach.

    Pretty much invalidates your trolling expeditions here, wouldn’t you say?

    .. and they most certainly didn’t sign “every high priced FA available”

    Deion Sanders was HANDS DOWN the biggest FA of that window, last I checked, he never played for the Broncos. Andre Rison went to the Browns.. Chris Doleman.. Hardy Nickerson… Cornelius Bennett..

  24. ajzinnecker says:
    July 25, 2018 at 9:45 am
    I love how everyone makes them out to be world beaters. Most of the team is young, and all these star players have never played together.

    Minnesota – has had a top 5 defense of players have been together a long time for the past 3 years. They have the best WR duo in the league right now in Diggs and Theilan.

    ——–

    In what universe are Diggs and Theilan “the Best” WR duo in the NFL?

    I understand you are a homer but get a grip man

  25. Their biggest problem is that they took care of all these guys before taking care of Donald. He’ll probably play better, out of spite, but for himself, not the team.

    They are still heading into the season as the heavy favorite and clearly the most talented, in the NFC West. What if they stumble early though? Do you see them galvanizing in that scenario, and overtaking a team or two ahead of them in the division?

    Wildcards will be hard to come by this year. Look at the legitimate contenders for making the playoffs in the NFC this year:

    Phila
    Green Bay
    Minnesota
    NOLA
    Atlanta
    Carolina

    Plus maybe:
    Dallas
    New York
    Detroit
    Arizona

    And MAYBE maybe:
    Washington
    Tampa Bay
    San Francisco

    I left out the Seahawks due to my personal affinity (and subsequent bias), but they won playoff games 5 straight years before just missing out of the playoffs last year; they still have Russell Wilson at the very least.

    I can see the Rams winning it all, but I think they have an equal probability of missing the playoffs entirely.

    Anyway it looks to be a fun year in the NFC

  26. A QB on a rookie contract is the best way to build a Super-Bowl team & is by far the best value going today in Professional Football. One of the next team to greatly benefit from having a QB on a rookie contract is going to be the Arizona Cardinals. QB Josh Rosen is going to be special, regarded as the best most polished NFL ready pure passer to come out since QB Andrew Luck he has the offense down pat having picked it up extremely quickly & is much better than AZ’s even expected, i’d bet he develops quickly & becomes one of the top QB’s in the NFL as a top 10 QB.
    Next off-season Arizona will do what the Eagles did going into 2017 & that is load up the roster with talent around QB Josh Rosen. Arizona will have $90-$95M in cap space next off-season, Sporttrac n others doesnt list it because they have AZ keeping players they wont be keeping such as Sam Bradford ($25M cap) among others. AZ will add a few top OL men and sign a few WRs/pass catchers in Free-Agency and offensive talent in the draft, as well as sign their own guys such as Markus Golden, Deone Bucannon, Larry Fitzgerald will be back another year etc etc. David Johnson’s deal will get this summer I think.
    Having QB Josh Rosen for 4 more years after 2018 on a cheap cost controlled contract will allow AZ to build one of the most talented rosters this next off-season building one of the top contenders in the NFC. You can stress how big of a boon a great QB on a rookie contract is, its the fastest to a Super-Bowl win given the ability to afford so many elite n above average players.

  27. the Rams are doing exactly what the Eagles did last year, they brought in a bunch of FA, Suh will be gone next year, Barron and Joyner too – so that’s a cool 35 Million off the books and as far as Donald goes it’s obvious the Rams are willing to pay players and it’s known they are prepared to make him the highest paid defensive player ever so those who post about how pissed he must be or the Rams being negligent are not a smart as they think, at some point you have to wonder what he’s asking for, and he’s still on his rookie deal so his salary cannot change this year, they can control him the next 3 years for relatively cheap so he better be careful, I hope he always dons a Rams jersey and want it done too.

  28. The best time to go for it is when your franchise QB is good and cheap unless your QB is unselfish and fran first where they’ll take a discount to keep the team competitive. It’s what the Rams did when Warner started out, what the Pat’s did with Brady in the beginning and to an extent still do, Seattle did it with Wilson and Philly this year did the same.
    It’s a sound strategy to get one.

  29. gooseusaf1 says:
    July 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm
    The best time to go for it is when your franchise QB is good and cheap unless your QB is unselfish and fran first where they’ll take a discount to keep the team competitive. It’s what the Rams did when Warner started out, what the Pat’s did with Brady in the beginning and to an extent still do, Seattle did it with Wilson and Philly this year did the same.
    It’s a sound strategy to get one.
    ___________________________________

    Not sure if you’re refering to SEA winning w/ Wilson on a rooke contract or Wilson taking a discount cause RW did not take a discount. Their is a reason why Wilson perennially plays behind one of the worst 3 Offensive-Lines in the NFL & they dont have much talent at the skill positions w/ just Doug Baldwin and not much else. Lockett is a #3 and Jaron Brown is just terrible.

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