Jalen Ramsey Trade Rumors Update: March 2
Jalen Ramsey has tweeted the following:
The NFL offseason is just getting underway and it has already been an extremely weird one for the Los Angeles Rams. Already, we have no shortage of Jalen Ramsey trade rumors, with reports coming out that the superstar defensive back is available for trade.
The first bit of offseason news surrounding the Rams was good with both Sean McVay and Aaron Donald announcing they would return for the 2023 season despite rumors of both contemplating retirement.
Even though the 2022 season didn’t go as the Rams had hoped with them finishing 5-12 and missing the playoffs, the thought was that with McVay and Donald coming back, the organization would give it one more shot at competing in 2023.
It’s easy to forget that this Rams core won a Super Bowl literally 12 months ago. A lot of their struggles in 2022 can be attributed to injuries and going into 2023, the NFC is looking wide open again.
Everyone knows that the Rams are eventually headed for a rebuild. Their team-building strategy of the last half decade succeeded in bringing the organization a Super Bowl but is simply not sustainable forever in today’s NFL.
But many people, including myself, thought that McVay and Donald returning in 2023 would signify that rebuild being pushed back another year. And as a fan, I was cool with that. Even if it doesn’t work out, I think it’s reasonable to give this core one more shot at winning another championship.
Over the last week though, it appears the Rams front office may feel differently.
The Bobby Wagner move
First, the Rams and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner decided to mutually part ways. The cut saves the Rams around $5 million in cap space, which is not a lot but also not insignificant for a team that’s over the cap. But at the same time, if you are trying to compete, it’s hard to imagine that cap space being used on someone who can help more than Wagner.
Things didn’t stop there though as it then was reported that Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey is “very likely” to be traded this offseason.
There have been rumblings surrounding Ramsey for a while now and I have addressed them at length, believing that a trade this offseason didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
In the eyes of many, Ramsey is coming off a down season for the Rams. So with that being the case, wouldn’t his trade value be diluted around the league?
I still think Ramsey is an elite cornerback and being only 28 years of age, there are a few good years left ahead of him. If you’re a team that has goals of competing in 2023, why would you want to trade a guy who is phenomenal on the field, a leader in the locker room and still under contract for three more seasons?
Making sense of Rams trading Ramsey
Let’s try to make sense of all this from the Rams’ perspective. And I’m not gonna lie, I still don’t think it makes a ton of sense. I would have kept both Ramsey and Wagner, freeing up money by making other moves and getting rid of other players that aren’t as important to L.A.’s defense.
But if the Rams do end up trading Ramsey, here are some of the reasons why.
Let’s start with the salary cap implications. The Rams would free up $5.6 million in cap space by trading Ramsey this offseason. That’s not as much as anyone would’ve expected, but the real cap savings would come in 2024 and beyond when L.A. would completely rid itself of Ramsey’s contract.
So the 2023 season would essentially be a “reset” year for the Rams and then they would be in a much better place with the cap. While that sounds great, the reason I disagree with the strategy is what I began this piece talking about and that’s the futures of McVay and Donald.
What’s the direction?
There’s no guarantee that those guys, as well as Matthew Stafford, will be back in 2024, especially if the 2023 season goes similarly to 2022.
But putting that aside, the asset perspective could be why the Rams want to trade Ramsey now. He is expected to garner a lot of interest and if there’s a bidding war, perhaps the Rams can get a “Godfather” offer for him.
If L.A. can get at least one first-round pick and some middle-rounders for Ramsey then maybe that is too good to pass up. It would allow the Rams to add some young talent to the organization, replenishing the lost draft capital in recent years.
There are rumblings that the Rams are looking to get back to being an offensive-centric team, so maybe they feel their defense can still compete enough without Ramsey and Wagner if their offense is back to scoring 30+ points per game.
As you can probably tell, I am still against trading Ramsey. But if the right deal presents itself then it appears the Rams will pull the trigger, and at the end of the day I still have trust in Les Snead and the front office’s vision even if I presently can’t see it.