The Los Angeles Rams had a clear goal: to win Super Bowl LVI in their brand new $5.5 billion stadium. To fulfill the mission, they practically bet all or nothing and won.
Now the question is, will the Rams feel satisfied after risking almost everything and fulfilling the objective of keeping the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the moment they wanted it?
The Rams had a definite goal and their mentality was “win now” and they showed the NFL that there was a way to win the championship without going through a whole construction process. Little was thought about the immediate future of the team with the investment they made to win it all in the 2021-22 season.
However, this aggressive way of doing business does not appear to be sustainable.
With other champions, the almost immediate question is whether they will sustain the player base with which they won the title to try and repeat next year. It happened with the New England Patriots until Tom Brady left, it happened with the Kansas City Chiefs and last year, with Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, with the Rams the question is whether to fulfill such a clear and defined mission will leave them satisfied.
For Sean McVay and Aaron Donald, fulfilling the mission might even leave them satisfied to think about ending their coaching and playing careers, respectively. McVay, who is under contract through the 2023 season and will be married in the coming weeks, indicated days before Super Bowl LVI that he wanted to balance his personal and professional lives, while Donald, who has three years and $55 million remaining in the extension he signed in 2018 did not deny or confirm the report that he would contemplate retiring if he won the NFL title.
When owner Stan Kroenke, COO Kevin Demoff, general manager Les Sneed and McVay decided to trade their top two draft picks in 2022 and 2023 (and QB Jared Goff) to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford and their selections of 2a. and 3a. 2022 rounds to the Denver Broncos for Von Miller, they were aware that winning now would possibly mean suffering later.
Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., whom the Rams acquired in the middle of the season after the receiver was released by the Cleveland Browns, were important in the Rams’ Super Bowl win. Both will be free agents in March, along with starting offensive linemen Austin Corbett and Brian Allen. On the salary cap, Stafford will have $23 million, while left tackle Andrew Whitworth will have $17 million.
The Rams are $14 million over the salary cap in 2022, according to OverTheCap.com’s projection, and have no college picks in the top 100 of the upcoming draft.
On the other hand, six years after returning to Los Angeles after an absence of 21 years, the Rams also sought to establish themselves in the taste of a city in which the Lakers and the Dodgers are masters and lords and a victory in the Super Bowl , without a doubt, is a good way to get people to include them in the conversation.
However, if the stakes were big enough to meet the stated goal of winning Super Bowl LVI, it’s likely to be a while before the Rams win another championship, and in the meantime, sympathy may fade.
The Rams were built for this, but perhaps the rebuild they avoided will come sooner than they bargained for.
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Will a Super Bowl LVI win be enough for the Rams?