Grading the Jalen Ramsey trade for the Rams: LA loses this deal
When rumors surfaced of the Los Angeles Rams potentially trading Jalen Ramsey, speculation was running rampant about what they might be able to get in return for the star cornerback. Some thought he’d be worth at least a first-round pick, while others believed it’d only be a few mid-rounders.
Few people thought the Rams would get as little as they did. Los Angeles has agreed to trade him to the Dolphins for a third-round pick this year and tight end Hunter Long, coming nowhere close to landing a first-rounder.
It’s obvious what this trade was about, and it wasn’t for the draft capital. It was all about the Rams trying to clear cap space not only for this year, but next year especially. Now with Ramsey off the books, the Rams have $50 million in cap space in 2024, which will help them retool their roster next offseason.
Regardless of the money the Rams are saving, this is a bad trade by them. They’re giving up one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and only getting back a reserve tight end and a Day 2 pick. There will be quality prospects available at No. 77 overall, but not a single one will have the same impact in 2023 that Ramsey has had.
Trade is now agreed to, per sources:
🏈Dolphins get Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey.
🏈Rams get 2023 third-round pick (No. 77) and TE Hunter Long.
Trade will be processed Wednesday, when league year begins. pic.twitter.com/0KJIeoS6fj
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2023
Long won’t be a player who contributes a ton on offense, even with Tyler Higbee possibly being a cap casualty this offseason. It’s not as if they added Mike Gesicki, either; he’s a pending free agent for the Dolphins.
What makes this trade particularly bad for the Rams is the comparable deals made for cornerbacks in years past. The Lions got a third- and fifth-round pick for Darius Slay when he was seeking a new contract. The Jaguars even got a fourth-rounder for A.J. Bouye in 2020.
In 2013, the Jets got a first- and fourth-rounder for Darrelle Revis when he was 28 and coming off a torn ACL.
Compared to other trades for cornerbacks, the Rams’ return for Ramsey looks terrible. Though he was also seeking a new contract, his current deal was very tradable and favorable for whichever team acquired him; he had just $5 million guaranteed left.
And not only are they without their star cornerback now, but they’re even thinner at a position that already looked weak. Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick and Robert Rochell are now the Rams’ starting cornerbacks on paper, pending free agency and draft additions.
One thing to consider in all of this is the Rams doing right by Ramsey. It was reported Sunday that there was a lot of interest in him, but Ramsey clearly wanted to go to the Dolphins, so that’s where they sent him. It’s possible they could’ve gotten more from someone else, but they wanted to send Ramsey to the right spot.
Regardless, the Rams absolutely come out looking like the losers of this deal with Miami.