5 LA Rams offseason moves worse than extending Floyd over JJIII

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Michael Brockers
Mandatory Credit: Tuesday, August 10, 2021. /

IV: Trading a veteran starter for a 6-pack and a bag of chips

The National Football League is a challenging combination of the harsh business realities of balancing the needs of the team under the annual NFL salary cap and the sheer entertaining enjoyment of watching professional athletes compete at playing football. Trading Michael Brockers for a 2023rd seventh-round pick falls into that first category.

Both sides had understanding positions. Michael Brockers wanted financial security, and he had just reworked his 2020 contract with the LA Rams to return to the team on a multi-year deal that he may have viewed as his last big NFL contract. The LA Rams, having swallowed nearly $40 million of the dead salary cap in a year where the NFL salary cap plummeted forced the team to make touch decisions and rework nearly all of the player contracts among the highly compensated players.

light. Must Read. Really? LA Rams Michael Brockers only nets 2023 7th-round pick

While this was understandable, the solution was a bit … disappointing. In a trade that could only be interpreted as a salary dump for the Rams, the team traded starting defensive lineman Michael Brockers to the Detroit Lions for the paltry return of a 2023 seventh-round draft pick. To add insult to injury, the Lions then quickly renegotiated Brockers’ contract down from an $8 million to $3.5 million salary cap impact in 2021.

The net effect was that the Lions traded for a true run-stuffing NFL starter defensive lineman for a 2023 seventh-round pick and got him for the unbelievably discounted price of just $3.5 million in 2021. Could the Rams have kept Brockers, renegotiated his deal, and then offered him on the trade block for a higher price? Sure, if they wanted to do so. The Rams have made some moves that deserve praise.  This clearly was not one of them.