The two-year commitment will cost the organization more than $50M. Stafford’s $1.5M 2023 base salary and prorated $12M signing bonus were already fully guaranteed at signing. With this latest move, the Rams are locking themselves into a 2023 option bonus worth $26M and a 2024 guaranteed salary of $31M.
This always seemed like the expected route but considering the uncertainty in Los Angeles surrounding Sean McVay‘s future, it was fair to wonder if the Rams could look towards a complete rebuild. In such a scenario, the Rams could have designated Stafford as a post-June 1 cap casualty, a move that still would have let them with $13.5M dead cap in 2023 and a whopping $36M in 2024.
Stafford was sidelined for much of the summer with an elbow issue. After struggling during the regular season and dealing with a pair of concussions, he ultimately landed on injured reserve in early December with a spinal cord contusion. The 34-year-old was limited to only nine games, with his 10 touchdowns being his lowest mark since a three-game appearance with Detroit in 2010.
Despite the growing list of ailments, Stafford rejected the retirement rumors last month. He doubled down during his end-of-season press conference, telling reporters that he never considered hanging up his cleats and is feeling “really comfortable and confident in moving forward” (per ESPN’s Sarah Barshop).