Why the LA Rams won the Jalen Ramsey trade

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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An All-Pro on the roster is worth four rookie prospects

First of all, let’s examine the salary cap impact of this trade on both teams. The LA Rams will incur $9.7 million of salary cap expense due to Jalen Ramsey’s 2021 salary expense, plus the $832,732 salary cap expense in 2021 for Robert Rochell, which brings the total salary cap hit for 2021 to $10.5 million.

For the Jacksonville Jaguars, they will incur $3.033 million in 2021 for K’Lavon Chaisson, an estimated $3.3 million for Travis Etienne, $1.4 million for Jordan Smith, and $825K for Jordan Smith. That all sums up to $8.558 million. The difference in the two teams’ salary cap hit? A mere $2 million.

Now keep in mind that this is after the LA Rams were able to re-sign Jalen Ramsey to a robust extension, something that the Jaguars determined would be almost impossible to do.  So far, this deal is looking pretty shiny for the Rams. But is there some other component that we may have missed? Some insignificant factor for the Rams that resulted in a very positive outcome for the Jaguars?  I think the point I’m trying to make is that this trade could still be viewed as a win-win, even if the Rams did win on many accounts so far.

If the goal was to force the Jacksonville Jaguars to commit to an organizational reset, then the trade of Ramsey for draft picks certainly amplified the need to do so. Ramsey was not the only veteran to petition loud and long for a trade, and so the measurement of before-trade to after-trade impact for their team is difficult at best.

If winning games was the goal for both teams, the LA Rams have clearly come out on top. Yes, the Jaguars have a solid group of young talent to build a winning team with,  but the Rams are winning now.  And yes, the only true measure for any NFL trade is to wait the dozen or so years to let all careers play out in their entirety. We could wait that long, but there are no guarantees that any of us will be live in 2033, let alone interested in assessing the Ramsey trade for the 100th time.

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We know that Jalen Ramsey is happy with the LA Rams and that the LA Rams are happy with Jalen Ramsey. Whether or not the Jacksonville Jaguars are satisfied and happy with the outcome will likely need to wait another day. It’s not always that a team is willing to trade an All-Pro NFL player who is still in his prime. But if it happens, you can bet that the Rams will inquire. It’s simply how they roll.