- ESPN NFL Insider
- Joined ESPN in 2009
- Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books
The Los Angeles Rams are expected to pick up star quarterback Matthew Stafford’s 2023 option bonus and 2024 salary by the third day of the league year, sources told ESPN.
The option bonus and 2024 salary will pay Stafford a combined $62 million in guaranteed money.
If they decide not to pick up the option, the Rams could have designated Stafford a post-June 1 cap casualty, which would have counted him $13.5 million against their salary cap in 2023 and an additional $36 million in 2024.
But Stafford, who faced questions about possibly retiring after missing the Rams’ final seven games, will return for at least one season to play under coach Sean McVay, who also will be back in Los Angeles in 2023.
McVay said in his end-of-season news conference that he would be taking the “appropriate time” to make a decision on his future, but the Rams announced Friday that he will remain their coach.
The Rams are coming off a 5-12 season — McVay’s worst losing campaign since he was hired in Los Angeles in 2017 — as they dealt with many injuries, including to Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Stafford, who turns 35 next month, ended the season on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion and twice spent time in the concussion protocol. The former Pro Bowler reiterated this week that he didn’t really think about retiring while dealing with the injuries and feels “really comfortable and confident in moving forward.”
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