4 players the LA Rams could trade before the deadline
The LA Rams are making some curious and provocative moves as the team inches closer and closer to the NFL Trade Deadline of November 2nd. Seemingly from nowhere, the team moved to restructure the contract of offensive tackle Rob Havenstein, freeing up over $3 million in salary-cap space. Just days later, the team traded starting inside linebacker Kenny Young to the Denver Broncos for next to nothing, again, freeing up salary-cap space.
As some have already begun to guess on social media, salary-cap space for what or for whom? With the Rams proving that the intentions of the roster build for 2021 has been all about winning in 2021, the willingness of the team to part ways with a starting inside linebacker makes absolutely no sense at all.
The LA Rams had other options, such as simply promoting rookie Ernest Jones into the starting role. Not only had the team done so with David Long Jr. and Robert Rochell earlier, but that would have retained Young on a roster that is now light on inside linebacker talent and in need of a veteran to back up Jones. So by trading Young now, that appears to be more than a roster rearranging to benefit a rookie. For all intents and purposes, the LA Rams likely have a player in their sights and need the cap space to make it all happen.
What if the team needs to free up additional cap space? Who could the team trade in an attempt to make more money available?
Trade scenario I: Brycen Hopkins
When the LA Rams failed to give backup tight end Brycen Hopkins a larger role in the offense, even after tight end Johnny Mundt was lost for the season and placed on injured reserve, the team now has lost the reason to keep Hopkins on the roster. Instead, the team activated tight end, Kendall Blanton, a large-bodied tight end who can block effectively and can still catch a pass or two in a pinch.
Hopkins is in his second season and per OverTheCap.com, the team can save an additional $780,000 by trading him. While that may not seem like a great deal of money, keep in mind that the team traded away starting inside linebacker Kenny Young, saving the team just under $2 million by doing so. Since it seems highly unlikely that the team will play Hopkins at all this season, why pay him to warm the bench?
Even if the market for Hopkins is not hot, the Rams can surely manage to get the bag of chips and soda equivalent as they did from the Denver Broncos for Kenny Young.