LA Rams see draft picks as bitcoins. Why don’t other NFL teams?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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II – Rams can pick the player and the contract with draft picks

There are simply more team-friendly features inherent with trading draft picks for proven veteran players. When the LA Rams trade for a veteran who is already performing at or nearly at an elite level, the team knows what they are getting. Can the same be said about a rookie in his first year?

But what’s worse, is that the top rookies from an NFL Draft remain overpaid. The LA Rams recognize that, and simply want no part of it.

The NFL and NFLPA negotiated a sliding scale for rookies selected in the NFL Draft during the lockout in 2011. Prior to that, NFL rookies were paid lavish amounts of money and seldom delivered. With that new agreement, the two sides brought the incredible spending spree on rookies back to earth. Still expensive, but much more in line with their actual production.

But the pick dictates the pay. It’s locked.

By using an alternative method, the Rams retain control over how much they are paying because those are the contracts that they inherit with their veteran players. Perhaps more importantly, the Rams ensure that they acquire game-changers. The Rams have traded for Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Stafford, and now Von Miller. All three are among the top players at their position.

All three are LA Rams players.

You cannot replicate those results by picking in the NFL Draft. And that is the beauty of the method this team employs. But what about the continued supply of young players in the pipeline?