The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the most aggressive teams on the trade market for years, sacrificing future picks for win-now talent on a yearly basis. While the big move never came at the 2022 NFL trade deadline, it reportedly wasn’t for a lack of effort.
Los Angeles exited November with a 3-4 record, placing the reigning Super Bowl champions third in the NFC West. While the return of a few players from injuries will provide some reinforcement, the Rams went into November with needs on both sides of the ball.
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Through its first seven games, the Rams have had one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL. The team is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and 68.4 rushing yards per game, setting up long third-down attempts. To make matters worse, Los Angeles has also allowed the second-most pressures (97) and the most quarterback hits (23) in the NFL.
- Brian Burns stats (2022): 9 QB hits, 8 tackles for loss, 5 sacks
Despite having one of the worst offenses in football, Los Angeles seemed to prioritize upgrading its defense before the NFL trade deadline. No deal came together, but general manager Les Snead seemed to make a strong offer that would have been the biggest in-season trade this year.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Rams offered the Carolina Panthers two future first-round picks for edge rusher Brian Burns. Notably, reports before the NFL trade deadline indicated one unidentified team offered Carolina two firsts for Burns.
- Brian Burns contract: $4.308 million cap hit (2022), $16.012 million cap hit (2023)
Burns, age 24, was viewed as the most coveted player before the trade deadline. Selected with the 16th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, he has emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and he is under team control through 2023.
Importantly, Los Angeles doesn’t own a 2023 first-round pick. Snead wanted Carolina to accept the Rams’ 2024 and 2025 first-round selections, sacrificing immediate help next season for the upside of the Rams’ window being closed when the Panthers own their top picks.
Ultimately, Carolina rejected the offer and it seems the organization never gave it serious consideration. With Burns entering the final year of his rookie contract this offseason, it’s expected that the Panthers will approach him about a contract extension to make him part of the core moving forward.