Is this the year for the LA Rams to finally step up to the podium on Day 1 of an NFL Draft? if so, it will be the first time that the team has done so since hiring Sean McVay as the head coach of the team. Still, it isn't in the history books until it's history, which means that there is still plenty of time for the team to find other uses for a first-round pick. Like what? Well, a trade is always an option. Now, here's why:
The Rams love to trade for players, simply because they know up front what are the risks. If they have vetted the player correctly, they understand the likely production on the football field. And with a contract already negotiated, there is certainty of how much that player would cost the team in terms of salary cap impact.
The trick is, finding a motivated team that is willing to field offers for a game-changing player who is heavy in on-field production and light on the purse strings. Ultimately, trades in the NFL do not happen more frequently simply because every team is chasing the same types of players. So once the team has an elite player on the roster, that typically is the end of any interest in trading the player unless the contract overpays or the player underproduces, neither of which makes a trade for that player likely.
Of course, there are certain situations when a player excels, but the team fails, and the contract for an NFL elite veteran. As of today, there are no verifiable sources that the Los Angeles Chargers are shopping All-Pro outside linebacker Khalil Mack, but his name has appeared on social media speculation as someone who could be traded this year. The Chargers are $45 million over the cap and trading Mack would free up $23.25 million. While there are no concrete reports that he is being shopped, it would be shocking if he was on the Bolts in 2024.
The Chargers need to get under the cap for 2024, and the only way to do so is to either cut or trade players. Cutting players outright does shed salary dollars, but gives the team nothing in return. For a player of Khalil Mack's stature, that would be a serious waste of resources. So the optimal option for the Chargers is to pursue a trade. Now the question is, what would a trade look like?