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A trade involving Los Angeles Rams star Jalen Ramsey “absolutely could happen,” according to NBC Sports’ Peter King.
King explained how the move could help Los Angeles recoup some of the NFL draft capital it leveraged in pursuit of short-term success:
“My projection is the Rams could get something between a low first-round pick this year (Dallas, Buffalo and Kansas City could be interested, and pick between 26 and 31 overall) and a package of picks—perhaps a low two this year, and a fourth-rounder this year or next, that could rise depending on performance or play-time markers Ramsey could meet.”
Beyond the trade return, Los Angeles would also get some financial relief by sending Ramsey elsewhere.
Dealing him before June 1 would put $19.6 million in dead money on the team’s books but save $5.6 million, per Spotrac. Waiting until after June 1 would spread the dead-money hit across 2023 ($8.2 million) and 2024 ($11.4 million) while saving $17 million.
The latter option is presumably off the table, though, since the Rams would have far less of a short-term benefit to the transaction.
Ramsey continues to perform at a high level. In 2022, he had 88 tackles, four interceptions and 18 passes defended while earning his sixth straight Pro Bowl nod.
But Rams general manager Les Snead has to make some difficult decisions this offseason after the team went 5-12. Thanks to a top-heavy roster, L.A. is set to be $14.2 million over the cap as well.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Feb. 14 that the franchise “seems destined for a mini reset to recoup resources” and that rival organizations “wonder if the Rams will part with [Ramsey].”
Among the Rams’ highest earners, Ramsey has perhaps the best mix of trade value and cap savings. His departure would allow Snead to fill out the roster a little more, both with draft picks and free-agent signings.
Ramsey’s departure would be a significant blow to the defense and quite an about-face for a team that won a Super Bowl title in 2021. But standing pat with the current roster and effectively kicking the can down the road might be an even worse approach for Snead.