Apparently, the St. Louis Rams are finding a way around the salary cap—or some way to manipulate it in their favor—as they pursue free agents to fill their positions of need.
Though the figures showed only about $13 million with which to work, the Rams have already signed former Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook to a five-year $35.1 million deal, and they appear on the verge of signing former Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long for considerably more than that. According to NFL.com's Dan Hanzus, Long wants $11 million per year.
OT Jake Long will take a physical in St. Louis tomorrow, and the chances he signs there hinge on its results.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 13, 2013
Surely, some creative structuring will be involved, but even so, it would be shocking to see them invest $18 million per season to two players, both of whom carry significant question marks (which we'll get into later).
If the Jake Long move gets done, the Rams will be finished in free agency. Their change purses empty of everything but lint, they will choose to fill the rest of their needs through the draft.
But, if it doesn't, they will still have the money to address one or two or their remaining needs—needs we will look at in the following slides.