The Rams are trading linebacker Alec Ogletree to the Giants, a league source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The deal will see Ogletree and the Rams’ 2019 seventh-rounder go to the G-Men in exchange for a fourth-round pick and sixth-round pick.
Thanks to the extension he signed last fall, Ogletree is under contract through 2021. The Rams probably didn’t expect to part ways with him so soon even that the deal included $18MM in full guarantees with $33MM in cash flow over the first three years. L.A. is moving on from him, partially due to financial constraints, but the Giants believe they’re acquiring a quality playmaker on D.
Ogletree, a former first-round pick, started in all 15 of his games last season and racked up 95 tackles and two sacks. The advanced metrics have never been fond of him, but those who have watched him play disagree with the analytics.
Linebacker was one of the Giants’ biggest areas of need this offseason, particularly with Akeem Ayers, Jonathan Casillas, Mark Herzlich, Devon Kennard, Keenan Robinson, and Kelvin Sheppard all headed towards free agency. Last year, the Giants’ run defense sagged and opposing tight ends had their way across the middle of the field. The Giants are hoping that Ogletree’s presence will help in both areas.
The acquisition of Ogletree gives new defensive coordinator James Bettcher a big-time weapon to work with. Ogletree spent much of his career in a 4-3 scheme, but he transitioned to a 3-4 set under Wade Phillips last year, similar to Bettcher’s. It’s worth noting, however, that Ogletree didn’t cleanly fit into 3-4, as Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com (Twitter link) writes.
This marks the latest deal in what has been a busy offseason for the Rams. In recent weeks, L.A. has acquired cornerback Marcus Peters from the Chiefs and shipped defensive end Robert Quinn to the Dolphins.
The Rams were not expected to part ways with Ogletree, but it’s a logical move for cap reasons. Moving Ogletree may allow the Rams to hold on to linebacker Mark Barron and re-sign wide receiver Sammy Watkins. There’s also the outside chance that the Rams find space to retain cornerback Trumaine Johnson and the extra breathing room could help the team in their bid to eventually extend Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, and Jared Goff.
Per league rules, the trade will not become official until March 14.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.