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Rams Rumors: Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Woods, Kupp to Restructure Contracts

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) gestures during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams reportedly are restructuring the contracts for four of their biggest stars in an attempt to get under the salary cap.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Jalen Ramsey and Robert Woods have restructured their deals to open up $20 million for the Rams. 

Rapoport noted that Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald should also have their restructured contracts "done soon" to get the Rams under the cap. 

Per ESPN.com, the Rams started free agency $31.26 million over the 2021 salary cap that was set at $182.5 million. Only the New Orleans Saints ($38.32 million over) had a higher cap number than the Rams. 

Los Angeles will also carry a $22.2 million dead cap hit from Jared Goff's contract when the trade with the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford becomes official. 

Donald ($27.892 million), Ramsey ($22.5 million), Kupp ($14.5 million) and Woods ($13.875 million) were set to have four of the top five largest cap hits on the Rams roster prior to restructuring their deals, per Spotrac. Stafford ranks third with a $20 million cap figure. 

Rams general manager Les Snead has made aggressive moves in recent years that have left the team in its current cap situation. He gave up two first-round picks to acquire Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars in October 2019. 

The Stafford deal will cost the Rams first round-picks in 2022 and 2023, as well as a 2021 third-round pick. Donald is the last first-round selection made by the team (2014) who is currently on their roster. 

Those big contracts have paid off, as Donald won NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the third time in his career last season. Ramsey was instrumental in the Rams defense leading the NFL with 18.5 points allowed in 2020. Kupp and Woods both had over 1,000 yards receiving in 2019 and combined for 1,910 yards with nine touchdowns last year.