Lions fans love rumored scenario of trading for LA Rams DB Jalen Ramsey

Mandatory Credit: Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021.
Mandatory Credit: Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. /

There is growing volume over a scenario where the Detroit Lions are pitched to trade for LA Rams defensive back Jalen Ramsey. Is it a full-fledged rumor? Not quite. But Lions fans love the idea, the Rams fans are growing more and more disenchanted with Jalen Ramsey in their secondary, and the scenario simply makes too much sense to ignore.

Does that mean it will happen? It’s hard to say at this point. We know that the LA Rams are hard-pressed to free up salary cap space. And there is plenty of evidence that suggests that, while he remains one of the best defensive backs in the NFL, Jalen Ramsey did not perform at the Jalen Ramsey level in 2022.

Does Jalen Ramsey fit the type of defense that current defensive coordinator Raheem Morris likes to play? More and more, it seems as though Ramsey is not optimized in this defense. Why? In truth, Ramsey is a high-octane defensive back who expects his teammates to know their roles, perform at a high level, and communicate effectively and succinctly in the process.

Here’s why it could happen

But they do not.  The Rams chose to play two safeties who are far better at supporting the run defense by lining up in the box, despite the fact that the LA Rams inside linebacker duo of Bobby Wagner and Ernest Jones have no need for it. So the first order of business for the LA Rams secondary is to get safeties who can actually defend the pass.

But as long as the Rams play zone defense, does it make sense to boast a shutdown cornerback? In 2020, Ramsey allowed no better than 50 percent of passes to his receiver to find their mark, and he allowed just two TDs all season. In 2021, the completion rate jumped to 59 percent, and he allowed three TDs. In 2022, the completion rate jumped to 62.6 percent, and he allowed five TDs. That is the most TDs that Ramsey has allowed in his career.

As of January 14, 2023, the LA Rams are projected by to be nearly $12 million over the 2023 NFL salary cap. If the Rams opt to trade Jalen Ramsey and structure it as a Post-June 1 transaction, the Rams save $17,000,000 against their cap. Ramsey is worth what he is getting paid, but the decision point is whether or not he is worth that cost in the Rams’ defense. You could argue the point either way.

What might a Lions-Rams trade look like?

The LA Rams traded two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick for Jalen Ramsey to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It would make sense for the Rams to expect a first and fourth-round pick for Ramsey.

Of course, the savings is less than $17 million if the Rams trade Ramsey before the 2023 NFL Draft. But strike while the iron is hot, as the Rams have an excellent chance of prying a first-round draft pick from the Detroit Lions this year.

Would the Detroit Lions be willing to put a first and fourth in the Rams’ pocket for Ramsey? It makes sense to do so. QB Jared Goff has already proven to be better in the Lions’ offense than expected. And the Lions have a bonus first-round pick that was originally that of the LA Rams. So here is the trade:

In this exchange, the Lions’ defense gets a show-stopper defensive back. For the LA Rams, the team gets two valuable draft picks, lightens the load against the 2023 salary cap, and gives the Rams a chance to reconfigure the secondary to optimize what DC Raheem Morris wants to do.

Does it make sense for the LA Rams to trade Jalen Ramsey? Probably not. But this is the NFL, and that stands for Not For Long. This could be a fast-paced, surprise-filled offseason for the LA Rams. Buckle up, and away we go . . .

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