BR’s Roling trades LA Rams Donald to Cowboys for draft picks

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s easy to detect when the crazy phase of the NFL offseason has arrived. It’s the time of the year when you see LA Rams‘ All-Pro DL Aaron Donald’s name show up in crazy analytics or trade scenarios. Almost daring viewers to click, simply from the wonderment to register just how insane the latest level of crazy may have become.

Well, this year is a real humdinger.

It seems that it’s a slow day for Bleacher Reports Chris Roling. So slow that he took it upon himself to write what surely must be a parody article entitled Absurd Trade Offers for NFL’s Most Untouchable Stars. Driven by curiosity, I opened the article. There are six different NFL trade scenarios. Three are unique and intriguing. One is a potential template for a potential blockbuster trade. But two fail miserably. Why? The rationale is just so badly contrived that they fail to pass the sniff test.

Was that his point?

The first nonsense scenario trades the Kansas City Chiefs’ star quarterback to the Atlanta Falcons for WR Julio Jones and a Brink’s truck full of draft picks. How far into insane is that?  Well, it stacks QB Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan on the Atlanta Falcon roster with nobody to throw to, and WR Julio Jones onto the Kansas City Chiefs roster with nobody to throw him the ball.


But the truly bizarre scenario is one that involves LA Rams agree to trade defensive lineman Aaron Donald to the Dallas Cowboys for the Cowboys’ 2021 first-round pick (No. 10), 2022 first-round pick, and 2022 second-round pick.

So what is so wrong with this trade? Um, everything. First, let’s examine why the LA Rams would do this trade? They wouldn’t. No how. No way. The LA Rams just went all-in by trading away a king’s ransom for QB Matthew Stafford. Why then trade away the best defensive player in the NFL?

Secondly, why would the Cowboys engage the Rams in trade talks for Darnold? It was clear that their defense is horrible, and not even the presence of a defensive demi-god like Aaron Donald can move the needle enough.  The Cowboys are not one player away and therefore would never seek to trade that many premium draft picks for a single player.

I get it. Exaggerating the crazy scenarios that could happen in the 2021 NFL offseason is going to be wildly entertaining.  And parody is an excellent means of highlighting and foreshadowing what is about to happen.  But even parody needs an element of believability to work.  This scenario that depends entirely on the Rams-need-cap-space and Dallas-is-in-win-now-mode betrays its own fatal flaw.

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It’s the Rams who are in win-now mode. And it’s the Dallas Cowboys, a team with $18 million in salary-cap space in need of about $40 million / year to resign QB Dak Prescott, that is in need of creating additional space.

The LA Rams are not trading DL Aaron Donald to the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, they are not trading Donald to any team.