Rams Star Ranked Among Top-Worst Contracts In NFL

Should LA look to rid themselves of this deal?
Dec 4, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA;  Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) on the field prior a game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) on the field prior a game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Rams enter the 2024 season filled with hope and optimism, and the reason for that is their star quarterback, Matthew Stafford. It starts and ends with Stafford, and as he enters his age 36 season, all eyes will be on him to take the Rams to the top again. 

However, we may not see Stafford with the team to start the season as he wants more guaranteed money past the 2024 season. Stafford proved his worth with his stellar play last season, and the hope is he will get what he deserves. As we sit a month or so away from training camp, Stafford's contract is nothing to flaunt about. 

In fact, according to Bleacher Report's David Kenyon, Stafford ranks as one of the 10 worst contracts heading into the 2024 season. 

"In fairness, Matthew Stafford's performance hasn't slipped close to a problematic level," Kenyon wrote. "He remained a solid quarterback in 2023 despite not having star wideout Cooper Kupp for much of the campaign. The issue is the QB's contract does not afford the Los Angeles Rams much of a window to move on, if desired, through expiration in 2026. Not that L.A. would remotely consider moving on this year, his contract has $86.5 million in dead money this season. After that—no matter if he's designated as a post-June 1 cut—the Rams would have at least $18.5 million in dead money for 2025 and/or 2026. Stafford turned 36 this offseason, and we've seen quarterbacks be productive into their 40s. This is not a dire situation right now. Should his efficiency drop, though, the conversation won't be painless."

Unless Stafford wants out of L.A. or starts performing below par, the Rams will not move him. Although the Rams have proven to move on from even their best players in the past, Stafford's place in Los Angeles feels safe for now. 

That could all change if the abovementioned things happen, but if they don't, the Rams and Stafford will be all right. The issue right now regarding the two sides is Stafford's need and want for guaranteed money.

After leading the Rams to their second Super Bowl title in 2022, he signed a four-year, $160 million contract that had $63 million fully guaranteed and $120 million total guaranteed. Even then, the contract was not top-tier and was considered team-friendly. 

By that standards, it's viewed as a bad contract, but if Stafford is upright and healthy, then it doesn't belong on this list. 

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Ricardo Klein

RICARDO KLEIN