The Rams have agreed to trade CB Jalen Ramsey to the Dolphins, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson first reported that the two sides were deep in talks and that a deal seemed likely.
Miami is acquiring Ramsey in exchange for a third-round pick (No. 77, specifically) in this year’s draft, along with tight end Hunter Long. The ‘Fins will now be on the hook for the remainder of Ramsey’s contract, which runs through 2025.
The 28-year-old was scheduled to carry cap hits ranging from $22.7MM to $26.7MM over the next three years, figures which would represent a significant burden to any acquiring team. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that his contract has been re-worked upon the deal being finalized. As a result, Ramsey has been given an additional $25MM in guaranteed compensation on top of what he was already owed in salary and bonuses, though his impact on Miami’s cap sheet may likely be lessened as well.
The Rams’ acquisition of the former top-five pick in 2019 was one of several blockbuster deals the team made as part of their aggressive approach to trades and free agency in recent years. It helped them earn a Super Bowl title, but has now put them in a financial situation where notable departures are set to continue dominating their offseason. Edge rusher Leonard Floyd has already been released, and the same will be true of linebacker Bobby Wagner once the new league year begins.
Once the news came out that Wagner’s Los Angeles tenure would end after only one season, it was reported that a trade sending Ramsey out of town was expected to take place. The light return the Rams are receiving compared to the price they paid to acquire him from the Jaguars (a pair of first-round picks, along with a fourth-rounder), along with what they were reportedly seeking in a deal, speaks to how urgently they wanted to offload his contract before the start of free agency.
The Florida State alum remained productive in what amounted to a disastrous 2022 season for the Rams. He recorded four interceptions and 18 pass breakups while being one of few key players able to stay healthy for the entire campaign. While his coverage stats were the worst of his three full seasons in Los Angeles, Ramsey will still return to Florida carrying significant expectations.
The Dolphins took a step forward on offense last season, the first with head coach Mike McDaniel in place. Their defense struggled, however, particularly against the pass. Miami ranked 27th in passing yards allowed per game, and 29th in interceptions, pointing to a need to add to their secondary. That became especially true when it was learned that cornerback Byron Jones – who missed the entire 2022 campaign due to injury – was unlikely to play again in the NFL. He will be released once the new league year begins on Wednesday.
Ramsey will provide an upgrade to a CB room which already features Xavien Howard. Those two, along with versatile safety Jevon Holland, will anchor the Dolphins’ secondary as their defense enters a new era under DC Vic Fangio. The veteran staffer came back to the coaching ranks this offseason on a deal which makes him the highest-paid coordinator in the league. His presence should allow for a rebound defensively for the Dolphins, who still qualified for the postseason in 2022 despite their underwhelming performance on that side of the ball and quarterback injuries.
Long, a third-round pick in 2021, has made just one catch across 16 games spent with the Dolphins. He will provide depth at the TE position for the Rams, while creating a further roster hole at that spot for Miami. Mike Gesicki is widely expected to depart in free agency after his usage took a step back within McDaniel’s new scheme. While the Dolphins will likely be active replacing him and Long, they have landed a major addition to their defense for the intermediate future.
Rory Parks contributed to this post.