Rams GM calls Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp ‘pillars’

The Los Angeles Rams are roughly $16 million over the NFL’s salary cap entering the year, but a few players won’t be moving to help them create cap space.

Rams general manager Les Snead said Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp are the “bulwarks” of his roster, indicating they won’t be traded.

Snead specifically pointed to Stafford as a player who will be a part of the Rams’ future. The 35-year-old quarterback missed eight games last season after entering concussion protocol twice and suffered a spinal cord contusion en route to a 5-12 finish.

“I think we’re definitely going to rely on Matthew, he’s definitely one of our mainstays,” Snead said. “He’s definitely someone we’re going to trust, [who] we’re going to have to trust each other as we remodel it.”

The word “modeling” was a common theme in Snead’s pre-free agency press conference Thursday. Snead explained why he’s looking to “remodel” the 2021 Super Bowl champions instead of “rebuilding.”

“In a rebuild, you’d just tear the house down and start rebuilding from scratch,” Snead said, adding that Stafford, Kupp and Donald are the kind of players you “remodel.”

With these three players off limits, however, others will have to move. Linebacker Bobby Wagner has already been released, saving the Rams $5 million. It has been reported in recent weeks that Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd are likely to be traded or moved soon, while Allen Robinson is cleared to seek a trade.

Notably, Snead didn’t say Ramsey, Floyd or Robinson were a “mainstay” for the franchise, but when asked if they were trading those players, he said he wanted to “keep the details of those inside.”

However, Snead did not deny that he has been active in trade talks in the early parts of the offseason. He estimated he has already received trade calls from “probably nine players.”

Snead anticipates this will be an active offseason in Los Angeles.

“We’re trying to assess situations, figure out how to get under the plug [and] what’s the best way to go about it,” Snead said. “… We’ve gotten calls from a lot of our players. Other sites are probably trying to figure out what we’re doing big pictures and stuff like that. It’s been a busy offseason discussing players.”

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