There’s a darn good chance that the Los Angeles Rams will look to pull off a Jalen Ramsey trade at some point this spring.
Ramsey has been the subject of trade rumors over the past few weeks. That was magnified recently with a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero indicating that the Rams have already had discussions with teams about moving the six-time Pro Bowler. This comes shortly after Los Angeles released another Pro Bowler in that of future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner.
There’s a lot of factors that go into Rams general manager Les Snead potentially making this trade. First off, Ramsey is set to count a whopping $25.5 million against the cap in 2023. Secondly, Los Angeles finds itself currently $15.7 million over the estimated 2023 NFL salary cap. The Rams are going to have to cut the fat somewhere. Trading Ramsey would do just that.
Ramsey regressed a tad this past season. With that said, he’s still only 28 years old and has proven to be among the best cover corners in the league. There’s going to be interest in him. Below, we look at four ideal trade destinations.
Related: Top 2023 NFL free agents
Cincinnati Bengals make major move to improve weakness
If it were up to fans in Cincinnati, Eli Apple would never see the field as a starter again. Despite the Bengals competing for a Super Bowl appearance this past season, cornerback is major hole for this team.
Being able to get a true shutdown guy on the outside could set the Bengals up for domination on defense. They have an estimated $36.37 million to spend against the salary cap and all of their draft picks to make a move of this ilk.
- Jalen Ramsey contract: 5 years, $100 million; $25.2 million cap hit in 2023
Ramsey would have to restructure his contract in order to make a trade work for both the Rams and an acquiring team. After all, Los Angeles would incur a huge dead cap hit without a restructure. This certainly puts Cincinnati in play.
Las Vegas Raiders pull off blockbuster Jalen Ramsey trade
Laughable. That’s the best way to describe what we saw from the Raiders’ pass defense during a six-win season. This unit yielded 25 passing touchdowns compared to a mere six interceptions. Cornerbacks Amik Robertson (96.2 QB rating allowed) and Nate Hobbs (120.2 QB rating allowed) were absolute disasters in coverage.
Taking on the likes of Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes in the AFC West, this is a major area of concern for general manager Dave Ziegler. In turn, Vegas will have the cap room to pick up Ramsey after it moved on from quarterback Derek Carr. After all, the team isn’t looking to go big-game hunting for a quarterback this offseason.
Kansas City Chiefs go all in with Jalen Ramsey
How bad was the Chiefs’ pass defense this past regular season? It yielded north of 4,100 yards with 33 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Co. were forced to rely on rookies such as Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson. While those two have upside, acquiring a proven cornerback makes a ton of sense.
- Jalen Ramsey stats (2022): 88 tackles, 18 passes defended, 4 INT, 62.6% completion, 84.5 QB rating
Ramsey had a down season compared to what we saw from him previously. But all of these numbers would have topped Chiefs cornerbacks in 2022. It must also be noted that general manager Brett Veach has not been afraid to pull off blockbuster trades in the past. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and edge pass rusher Frank Clark come to mind first. Adding Ramsey to go with these young corners would be a boon for the defending champs.
Minnesota Vikings go big-game hunting with Jalen Ramsey
Despite winning 13 games this past regular season, defense was the Vikings’ downfall. They yielded the second-most passing yards in the NFL at 4,515 for an average of 265.6 per game. Daniel Jones tore this unit to shreds in the Giants’ upset wild card win over Minnesota.
Simply put, the Vikings must upgrade at multiple positions in the secondary. That includes cornerback. The likes of Chandon Sullivan (102.7 QB rating allowed) and Cameron Dantzler (111.1 QB rating allowed) were nowhere near up to the task. Acquiring Ramsey would go a long way in improving this unit.