A day after finding out that Los Angeles will be parting ways with linebacker Bobby Wagner, news broke that the Rams may be parting with another key defensive piece. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, sources believe it is very likely that star cornerback Jalen Ramsey gets dealt in the coming weeks.
Ramsey came to Los Angeles initially via trade back in 2019 after a bit of turbulence in Jacksonville. The former No. 5 overall pick in 2016 saw success every year during his time with the Jaguars. After finishing second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting (behind Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa), Ramsey was a first-team All-Pro in his sophomore season and made the Pro Bowl in every year after his rookie year. Despite his stellar play in the defensive backfield, as a team, the Jaguars only made the playoffs once, reaching the AFC Championship in 2017.
Early in 2019, a verbal altercation took place between Ramsey and then-Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone following a Week 2 loss to the Texans with reports leaking that the two had to be physically restrained. Soon after, reports surfaced that Ramsey had requested a trade. Ramsey would play a few days later but would miss the next three weeks with reasons ranging from injury to the birth of his daughter. It would be his last game with the Jaguars before getting traded to Los Angeles for two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick.
The Rams knew they were in a position where they needed to go all-in on the near future and showed that by making Ramsey the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history. They signed Ramsey to a five-year, $105MM extension, vaulting him past Tre’Davious White, who had nabbed the highest-paid cornerback title days before averaging only $17.5MM per year. Ramsey responded to the new deal with one of his least flashy seasons, statistically, but rewarded the Rams with his second first-team All-Pro selection. A year later, Ramsey would return to his usual statistical flash, earning his third first-team All-Pro selection and helping the Rams to their first Super Bowl victory since 1999.
Now, Ramsey is 28 years old, still in his prime and faces the trade market once again. Ramsey is due to have a base salary of $17MM this year, the largest year in the contract’s term, with a $25.2MM cap hit. The Rams built a potential out in the contract that would allow them to release Ramsey at the end of next season with a dead cap hit of only $11.4MM, as opposed to the $32.1MM of dead cap they would be left with if they cut him today. The moves Los Angeles has made lately point to cost-cutting, cap-clearing behavior. If they continue in this manner, it stands to reason that Ramsey, who holds the third-largest cap hit in 2023 for the Rams, should be on the trade block.
As for a trade destination, there are plenty of teams in the NFL in need of cornerback help. It will be interesting to see how much the Rams choose to accommodate Ramsey in any trade deals. Ramsey will likely want to go to a team with winning potential. The Rams may honor that, or they may take the deal that best sets them up for future success.
For teams with winning potential, the Ravens could see Marcus Peters walk in free agency and haven’t had the best luck with their cornerback depth behind him and Marlon Humphrey. Baltimore loves investing in the cornerback position and pairing Ramsey up with Humphrey, Marcus Williams, Kyle Hamilton, and (maybe) Chuck Clark would give the Ravens a lockdown secondary. The Bills have some talent at cornerback, but injuries really hurt their depth throughout 2022. The Bengals are a team that endeavors to become an AFC power, but up-and-down play in the secondary has hurt them in the recent past.
As for teams with top draft capital, the Cardinals could use some veteran leadership at the position and currently hold the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2023. The Raiders lack standout talent at the position and also hold a top-10 draft pick. There are plenty of other teams that meet halfway on the scale of winning potential and draft capital and could use Ramsey’s talent. Teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Lions, Dolphins, and Chargers fit this category.
As mentioned above, the Rams went all-in in the early 2020s. It paid off with a victory in Super Bowl LVI, but they are now facing the consequences. They need to build for the future but have all their assets tied up in current, massive contracts. Releasing Wagner and trading Ramsey could help alleviate some of that financial stress.
Another implication of this situation is in the contract details. It has become commonplace for teams to sign star players to massive contracts that put off larger salaries to later years to delay cap hits, allowing them to eventually renegotiate contracts and avoid the cap trouble entirely. This has led to multiple situations like Ramsey’s where a team no longer wants to fulfill their financial obligations to the player based on the contract they drafted. This is why contracts recently have seen an increase in guaranteed money. It provides an example for why a player like Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is pushing for a contract that not only rewards him with a high salary but also guarantees he will receive that money.
We’ll closely monitor the situation with Ramsey moving forward. Luckily for both parties, it appears that this trade situation for Ramsey is much less fraught than that of years past with Jacksonville. The hope is that the two parties will find a way to move Ramsey in a way that truly benefits both player and team.
23 comments on “Rams CB Jalen Ramsey Likely To Be Traded”
Lions. They send #18. Detroit has cap space and draft capital and is improving. They’re gonna be a fun team to watch.
Interesting scenario do you think he justifies the number 18 pick at this point in his career?
No, especially with the cap hit. If they hit on a solid rookie at #18, they’ll be in much better shape for the long-term.
can prob get him for a 2nd or 3rd rounder
Ramsey is starting to become a safety at this point
I agree with the second rounder, but not safety part.
Yes I do. He’s still a top 3 corner in the league. They have the cap space.
Ramsey is the type of player who can move to safety once he loses a step. He’s also on record of saying he wants to do that.
Also just as importantly DET needs some winning players in the locker room. Bring some swag back. Rookies are still volatile some hit some don’t.
I’m old enough to remember the Lions trading for another 29 year old defensive stud who had a string of AP awards on heading to Detroit. They gave up the #7 overall pick for Pat Swilling. The Saints used that pick for future Hall of Famer Willie Roaf. Swilling was gone from Detroit after 2 seasons.
The Cardinals are not sending the #3 pick to a division rival for Ramsey and it’s ludicrous to even suggest otherwise.
A lot of bloggers here in town banging the drum to get both Wagner and Ramsey for the Steelers defense
Yeah. Would be nice
How do you pay them is an interesting question, along with what are you willing to give up for Ramsey
The Steelers could entice them with tickets to Pirates ball games (sarcasm intended).
Wagner (maybe) would take a little less money to win somewhere like he tried with LA. Ramsey is hysterical, though I’m also from the burgh and it doesn’t surprise me these reports are coming. The hometown Pittsburgh reporters are mostly idiots and drink every sip of Kool-Aid that’s spewed out there.
Pittsburgh sports media is so awful. Top to bottom, every sport. DK to MM.
Hey, I’ll admit the Steelers surprised me in free agency last year. Signed a number of guys who came in and helped the team. That’s not like Tomlin
Granted, they now have Khan and Weidl running the show and the methodology is likely different from the Colbert era but the financial aspect isn’t.
And in reality, I remember Wagner and the Cowboys having mutual interest. I remember Ramsay naming a few teams before he was traded. None of them was Pittsburgh
Add guys like Bud Dupree coming back here or Marcus Peters of the Ravens —names that keep getting repeated—and again, it’s likely a fantasy
most overrated player to ever put on an NFL uniform
The Rams are not trading Ramsey to SF they might trade him to Arizona because that dumpster fire is smoldering and will ignite soon. Not sure why Seattle was not mentioned they have cap space and draft capital. I doubt they would want him since they are building through the draft. They are not spending big money on FAs. They don’t want to be in the position the Rams are in. Cap hell is a real place and resides in LA for the next few years.
I hope the bengals are checking in on Ramsey!
The Bengals will never give up both draft capital and salary for a 28 year old. Maybe one or the other
He made them back up the armored truck, now he’s gotta back up the Uhaul.
Bet it will be a fancy one! Lots of bling.
Isn’t it interesting how the best players are basically un-affordable. Oh sure, you can endure the pain for a little while, but ultimately the pain outweighs their talent/contributions.
Future Cowboy or Raider. I’ll bet on the Cowboys with the deeper pockets.
Bears should take on taysom hills bad contract for a second and seventh, give back a 6th. Flip the second for Ramsey. Sign Wagner. Trade back from 1 for 2 firsts to help out both sides of line. Would be a playoff team in what will be a weak division.