Should the Vikings trade for Jalen Ramsey?

The Minnesota Vikings are in a position where they need to add multiple cornerbacks this offseason. They only have Cameron Dantzler, Andrew Booth Jr. and Akayleb Evans on the roster currently and new defensive coordinator Brian Flores prioritizes talent at the cornerback position.

On Friday afternoon, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Los Angeles Rams were having discussions to trade All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey and league sources believed he would likely be traded.

With the Vikings needed cornerbacks, the potential for adding Ramsey is going to be a massively appealing and intriguing one. Let’s look at the case for the Vikings trading for Ramsey.


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The fifth overall selection in the 2016 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ramsey was great from the get-go. In his career, Ramsey has made the Pro Bowl six times and was an All-Pro on three. He has 19 career interceptions, including a career-high four in each of the last two seasons for the Rams.

This past season, he was used a lot on the outside and was excellent against the run, earning a PFF grade of 91.8 which was the best in the NFL. He also ranked 37th on PFF’s top 101 players list. At just age 28, Ramsey is still in his prime.

How does he fit with the Vikings?

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As mentioned earlier, the Vikings need to add cornerbacks to the roster. They have three players at the position but there is a question as to whether or not they will be long-term starters at the position. With those questions persisting, it makes sense to add an immediate starter at the position.

Flores loves to utilize a lot of pressure in his defenses. By running a lot of cover-0 pressures which put cornerbacks on an island, it puts a lot of stress and importance on the position. Ramsey thrives playing in man coverage and has tremendous ball skills. He has a career 92 passes defended with a career-high 18 of them in 2022.

Can the Vikings afford his contract?

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The salay cap hit for Ramsey is set at $25.2 million per Over The Cap. That is what his cap hit will be with the Rams but things will be different for the team that acquires him.

Ramsey currently has three years left on his contract with a $17 million base salary and $5 million of that is guaranteed. His contract lasts through 2025 and carries these cap hits for the team that trades for him.



Roster Bonus

Cap Hit


$17 million


$17 million


$14.5 million

$4 million

$19.5 million


$15.5 million

$4 million

$20.5 million

All of that is workable, including restructuring his entire base salary in 2023 into a signing bonus, which would clear upward of $11 million in cap space for 2023 without adding any void years.

What would it cost to bring in Ramsey?

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This is where things get murky. Ramsey is incredibly talented, but at age 28 in the midst of a top-end market value contract, what would he get in a trade?

When the Rams traded for him during the 2019 season, they gave up two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick for Ramsey. He surely doesn’t fetch that much in a trade, but could he bring back a first-round pick and maybe one on day three as well?

The floor for what Ramsey will cost should be what Khalil Mack was traded for: a second-round pick and a sixth-round pick. The problem with this price point is that the Vikings currently don’t have a second-round pick due to the trade for T.J. Hockenson. A second-round pick next year is worth around a thrid-round pick this year. Would they be willing to maneuver without the Vikings giving up 23rd overall?

Should the Vikings do this?

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This is a complex question that can really be answered in two parts.

If you continue to believe in this core group of players and believe that Ramsey can turn around the defense around quickly with Flores, you should make the deal.

If you want to bring in more young talent and not “mortgage the future” then you don’t make the deal and instead sign a player or two in free agency. The depth of this draft class is at cornerback and you can make the argument that not having a weak link at cornerback is more important than having a great one.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire