The Rams Core Four is now a Big Three.
Sunday the Los Angeles Rams once again made a move that got the NFL talking, shipping out All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins for a third-round pick and a stiff of a tight end named Hunter Long (more on him in a bit).
If you’ve been paying attention and reading along at MyLAsports.com you’d know that this Ramsey trade has been coming since the off-season. My last mock draft had the Rams going cornerback with their first pick, since all signs pointed to Ramsey moving on.
The first cryptic Jalen Ramsey tweet was easy to ignore. The second and third and you’re kind of like, well maybe…and then he kept at it on social media saying basically “something is about to happen.” And well, it did. Monday morning (early) Ramsey tweeted out his thanks to the Rams House Community.
Ramsey played 57 games with the Rams after coming over in a big trade from Jacksonville. He had 10 interceptions, won a Super Bowl ring, was All-Pro twice with LA. He gave the defense some swagger, and whether fans admit it or not, we like players with some attitude.
Why did the Rams trade Ramsey now? How did this go down and what does it all mean?
Did The Rams Get Enough For Ramsey?
This is where fans have an unrealistic expectation of what is out there.
Ramsey was making noise about wanted to be traded (clearly) automatically hurting his trade value. There are teams in the NFL that didn’t want Jalen Ramsey, because of the believed (I’m not saying it’s true) prima donna thing. I mean, could you see Ramsey with the Titans, for example?
No. And he grew up in Tennessee.
Miami was probably one of the teams Ramsey wanted to be traded to. He played at Florida State, even though he was a U fan growing up. He was drafted by Jacksonville. So he has Florida roots.
The Rams weren’t getting two No. 1 or something bonkers for Ramsey. He’s going to be 29 in October and teams knew the Rams were looking to move him.
So the Rams got the best deal they could get. Ramsey is owed a lot of money. Miami agreed to guarantee his first two years. How many great cornerbacks are in the NFL after age 30? (I count Darius Slay).
As a Rams fan, we should be happy with the extra third-round pick (No. 77 overall). Now the Rams have 11 picks in the NFL Draft.
Tight end Hunter Long has the size of an NFL player – 6-foot-5, but has been hurt and barely played in two years with Miami. This looks like the Dolphins were dumping him more than anything.
Jalen Ramsey Boom Or Bust
Remember last season when everyone thought the Seahawks were stupid for unloading Russell Wilson to the Broncos?
And then Russell Wilson was horrible.
No one knows Jalen Ramsey better than the Rams right now. They know what type of practice player he is, what type of teammate he is and whether his skills are eroding or not.
Ramsey had good numbers in 2022, a career-high 88 tackles, he led the Rams with four picks, broke up 18 passes (second most in the NFL). He had two sacks.
Ramsey arguably had one of the best plays of the Rams season, with a fourth-quarter pick in Week 2 against the Falcons to seal the win.
But Rams fans who watched every game (pity us) last year also saw Ramsey get beat a lot. Part of me wondered if his confidence got shaken after the Super Bowl when he got toasted by Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals. But then you realize, even great cornerbacks struggle against good wide receivers in today’s NFL. You can’t touch them when they run down the field, different ref crews call pass interference differently, so it’s a no-win scenario.
My bet is Ramsey has a good year next year, new surroundings and all that, but then his play begins to taper off, and the Dolphins owe him a lot of money.
Where Do The Rams Go From Here?
This move saves some money against the salary cap…blah blah blah.
Who cares about the salary cap? Good players cost money. I want my team to spend money to get good players. If the Rams are $20 million under the cap, that’s a bad thing. They don’t get a prize for being under the cap.
The Rams are loaded at defensive back. They drafted two guys last year: Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant who look like they can play. Maybe not Jalen Ramsey level, but not overmatched by NFL wide receivers. Maybe Jordan Fuller comes back healthy. He has the same type of size that Ramsey does.
The Rams were 5-12 last year, so the only truly dumb thing would be trying to run this all back with the same group from last year.
Free agency starts Wednesday. The NFL Draft is April 27-29. The Rams have a lot of picks now, and the salary cap shouldn’t keep them from being active in free agency.
Rams GM Les Snead keeps calling this a “remodel” trying to stay away from the world rebuild. This seems like a major renovation, but the Rams do still have a Big Three: Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford, for now. Someone check their Twitter feeds.