The COVID-19 procedures have created a wild west dynamic in the NFL, and things could still get even wilder for one of the teams of the NFC West.
The Rams are low on cap space, and they have pending deals with former Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd and nearly Ravens defensive lineman Michael Brockers. With the Floyd deal still not finalized, the Rams worked out a deal with Brockers, whose unsigned agreement with the Ravens fell through. Currently, both Floyd and Brockers are technically unsigned by the Rams, while they await physicals. Before those physicals are passed and the contracts become effective, the Rams will have to create cap space in order to fit both players onto the active roster.
It’s a loophole that has allowed the Rams to squat on both players while figuring out the best way to manage the cap and absorb the contracts. Or maybe, as some are wondering, the Floyd deal will be scrapped, now that Brockers is back, with a three-year, $31.5 million contract.
And it would be easy to avoid the Floyd deal, which pays out $10 million for one year. Rams doctors need to simply conclude that he can’t pass a physical.
Also caught up in this potential mess is free-agent defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, whose two-year, $17 million contract has not been signed.
However it plays out, the Rams are benefiting from the turbulent atmosphere engulfing normal NFL business, one that has allowed agreements in principle to be struck and to be held indefinitely in limbo until proper physicals can be administered. By the time that the COVID-19 pandemic eases to the point that physicals can occur, the Rams will either create cap space elsewhere (if players with existing contracts will agree to restructure), or the Rams will simply keep only one or two of the three players, telling Brockers and/or Floyd and/or Robinson that their deals won’t be finalized, with the failed physical providing the quick and easy “get out of jail free” card.