Rams' moves create more cap space as free agency continues

The Rams went into the start of free agency with about $22 million in salary cap space.

They agreed to terms with free agent receiver Robert Woods and free agent offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, and then traded defensive end William Hayes and released defensive end Eugene Sims, tight end Lance Kendricks and center Tim Barnes.

Parting ways with the four players leaves the Rams with about $17 million in cap space.

On Friday, they will introduce Woods, who agreed to a five-year contract that could be worth $39 million, and Whitworth, who agreed to a three-year, $36-million deal.

The trade and the releases were not entirely unexpected. The Rams finished 4-12 in 2016, they are preparing for their first season under new Coach Sean McVay and they are transitioning from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

All four players had long histories under former Rams Coach Jeff Fisher, who was hired by the team before the 2012 season.

Hayes, 31, is entering his 10th NFL season and played all but one under Fisher with the Tennessee Titans and the Rams. Hayes had five sacks in 2016. He was due to earn about $5.5 million this season, according to overthecap.com.

Sims, 30, has played all seven of his NFL seasons with the Rams. Last season, he had 2 1/2sacks, and he was due to earn $3.25 million.

Kendricks, 29, is a six-year veteran who also played his entire career with the Rams. He had 50 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns last season. He was due to earn $4.25 million.

Barnes, 28, played five seasons for the Rams. He started every game in 2015 and 2016 and was due to earn $3.35 million if he collected all bonuses.

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