Los Angeles Rams: Top 4 Questionable Contracts – Are They Worth Big Money?

Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody wants to talk about money, but the Los Angeles Rams are repeat offenders when it comes to drafting deals too early, too late, or just too much. While they have done an admirable job weathering the dead money left over from the Todd Gurley contract. And the Brandin Cooks. And the Jared Goff contract. And the Jalen Ramsey contract.

But they continue to craft bad contracts that limit their salary cap efficiency and ability to add high-end free agents and extend worthy players. So lets take a look at the worst deals currently on the Rams books.

All Contract Figures Provided By Over The Cap.

Worst Contracts on the Los Angeles Rams Ledger

Joe Noteboom, Offensive Line

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-OTA
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2024 Cap Hit: $11.6 Million

Joseph Noteboom was drafted in 2018 to be the heir apparent to the aging Andrew Whitworth. Whitworth played fantastically until he retired in 2021. This forced the Rams hand in extending the former third-round pick. In 2022, he signed a 3-year $40 million deal despite never having been the chosen starter. He proved to be a quality backup, but nothing more.

Noteboom was eventually usurped at left tackle by undrafted free agent, Alaric Jackson, cementing his backup status. This allowed the Rams to restructure his contract. Before that, his 2024 cap hit was $20 million. But he remains the league’s best-compensated offensive tackle as well as their 7th highest cap hit.

Jonah Jackson, Guard

NFL: Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2024 Cap Hit: $13.7 million

Jonah Jackson just became a Ram this spring when they added the 5th year former 3rd round pick. His addition came just days after the Rams re-signed Kevin Dotson, making him the fourth-highest-paid right guard in the NFL. They then doubled down when adding Jackson by making him the third-highest-paid left guard in the league.

As it stands now, the Rams have the most expensive offense in the league and the 4th most expensive offensive line. (And that’s with Steve Avila on his rookie contract and Jackson still on a bargain deal.)

The Rams are betting that Jackson will significantly improve their protection of Matthew Stafford and bolster a burgeoning rushing attack. But that is a big bet, especially considering Jackson’s injury history. He has missed at least four games over the last two seasons, including missing the NFC Championship game due to a torn meniscus. An injury that required surgery.

A recent Pro Football Focus ranking put Jackson in the 30th spot.

Tyler Higbee, Tight End

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions
David Reginek-USA TODAY SportsCredit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

2024 Cap Hit: $12.6 Million

When the Rams signed Tyler Higbee to a two-year $17 million extension last season they had no idea that he would tear his ACL and MCL in the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Detroit Lions.

But they did know that Higbee was over 30 and coming off two of the worst seasons of his career. Higbee is the 7th highest hit against the cap this year and likely won’t contribute for the first several weeks of the 2024 season.

Higbee’s injury prompted the Rams to sign Colby Parkinson to a 3-year $22.5 million contract. They currently have the 5th most expensive tight end room.

Aaron Donald, Retired DL

2024 Cap Hit: $25 Million

What do the Rams owe Aaron Donald? You can’t really put a price tag on what 10 years of stellar defensive play is worth. But when it comes down to figures on the ledger, they owe him $25 million against the cap this year and $9.6 million next year.

Of course, Donald is retired so barring a miraculous comeback Donald won’t contribute a tangible thing this season.

Perhaps we chalk this one up to back pay, but the sting hits when you realize the ghost of Donald is the Rams third biggest cap hit and takes up nearly 10 percent of their cap space.