Rams GM admits Ndamukong Suh return is likely 'off the table' due to budget constraints

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Rams went just about as "all-in" as a team can go. The Rams swung trades for Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, and Aqib Talib, and then later signed Ndamukong Suh, hoping to take advantage of quarterback Jared Goff's rookie contract by bringing in star level contributors in order to get to the Super Bowl. The gambit worked and the Rams were one of the best teams in the league, but they ultimately came up just short and fell to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. 

They've still got Goff on his rookie deal, while Cooks has gotten paid and so has Todd Gurley. They might be extending Peters soon, and they've got Talib in town for at least one more year. They let Lamarcus Joyner walk, retained Dante Fowler, and signed Eric Weddle to replace Joyner. All of this financial maneuvering has left the Rams with comparatively little cap space. They currently sit just over $5 million below the cap threshold, according to Spotrac.

And because of that, general manager Les Snead said that Suh returning to the fold for the 2019 season is "pretty much guaranteed to be off the table," according to ESPN.com.

Suh was paid $14.5 million last year and is clearly one of the top free agents remaining on the market. But the Rams don't have the kind of cap room to pay him commensurate with his talents. "Based on the fact that from our budgetary constraints this year, it probably doesn't fit in his desires," Snead said.

There are still plenty of teams with more than enough cap room to sign Suh to a sizable deal. Right now, 11 different teams have at least $25 million in available space on their books, while 18 teams have at least $14.5 million, which was enough to fit Suh on the Rams' cap sheet last year. 

The question is what Suh is going to prioritize. He has obviously made a ton of money throughout his career so it's possible he might be willing to take a little less for another shot at a Super Bowl, but he could also just want to maximize his earning potential while he's still close to his prime years. This is a situation to watch over the coming weeks, as Suh is the kind of player who can take a team up an extra level and potentially put them over the top.

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

Join our Free $1,000,000 Parlay Challenge

Our Latest Stories