LA Rams hover near NFL bottom in latest PFF 3-year cap analysis

The LA Rams aren’t saving their salary cap for a rainy day. It’s a given and turned out to be both a matter of extreme frustration and unbridled jubilation. It’s frustrating when the LA Rams are handcuffed to the NFL’s annual salary cap and are unable to add an available free agent that fans believe can put the team above it.

But it also leads to jubilation. The LA Rams have been one of the most successful NFL franchises over the past five NFL seasons, and a big part of that success is the team optimizing the roster. Which is to say, the Rams aren’t sitting on piles of cash for a rainy day. On the contrary, the team is proactive enough to increase the remuneration of a player who exceeds his contract, even if he has already signed a contract.

The LA Rams just do things a little differently, which makes the team very difficult to rank, compare or evaluate. While other teams stick to inches and feet, the Rams are metric.

Pro Football Focus is back, and this time writer Brad Spielberger attempts to rank the NFL’s 32 teams based on the next three years of the NFL’s salary cap. To do this, Spielberger measures NFL teams in five separate categories. They are:

  • Category LA Rams Ranking
  1. 30th active capital project
  2. 2022-24 Eff Cap Space 30th
  3. Total money prorated 29th
  4. Top 51 Veteran Rating 7th
  5. Valuation UFA 2023 16th

You can find out what each category means and what it attempts to measure by clicking the link above or this link. Curiously, the NFC West teams are ranked:

Arizona Cardinals – 16th overall
LA Rams – 27th overall
San Francisco 49ers – 20th overall
Seattle Seahawks – 17th overall

So, which team is ranked at the top of the standings? The Cincinnati Bengals are ranked top teams in the NFL, thanks to a ton of cheap young talent still playing on rookie contracts. What is the real meaning of this ranking? Does it measure the organization’s ability to store cash for a rainy day? Or does it measure the luck of the draw, the ability of the Bengals to win with good draws and cheap labor?

If this is another attempt to measure a team’s success, it’s not effective. Some of the best managed NFL teams exhaust their annual salary cap dollar allocation, while some of the worst NFL teams maintain a significant amount of available salary cap dollars that never seem to add any help to the roster.

After reading the article, I concluded that the LA Rams were winning and paying their players. But, to be honest, I already knew that.