LA Rams Jalen Ramsey Tweet: ". . .trade? Maybe lol”

Jalen Ramsey
Jalen Ramsey / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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What is driving those Rams rumors about trading Jalen Ramsey?

The truth of the matter is that the Rams trade rumors have been persistent, if not compelling, for the LA Rams for weeks. Those rumors are based on the presumption that the LA Rams need salary cap space, have a significant amount of money invested in All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey, and that his performance has slipped to the point where the LA Rams (presumed, not factual) no longer believe that Ramsey is playing up to the compensation level of his contract. But perhaps the greatest motivation with the Rams rumors, is that the Rams under DC Raheem Morris, consistently play zone coverage, which is perhaps the least productive form of pass coverage that Jalen Ramsey delivers.

The trouble is, even if all of those points are true, and that is a huge leap of faith, the financial relief that so many cite or hope to achieve is simply not there. To illustrate the point, you can see the embedded Ramsey contract details from below. In 2023,his dead money (triggered by an outright release) leaps to $31,200,000. Even if the Rams do trade him, the team only saves $5.6 millions in 2023 if it is a pre-June 1 trade, as the team would still be on the hook for the remaining portion of his prorated signing bonus, which is $19.6 million. To realize significant savings, the Rams will need to structure any trade as a post-June 1 trade, which then allows the team to push have of that signing bonus into the 2024 salary cap. You can see the salary information below:

But if it's only money, then the LA Rams certainly have other and more effective options available. The team can restructure the existing contract, which changes none of the money paid to the player but recategorizes the way funds are accounted for. If the team is of the opinion that they are overpaying Ramsey, then it makes more sense to renegotiate the deal, perhaps pushing some of the money into incentive clauses that ensure pay for play going forward.

Ultimately, if a trade is truly on the table, the Rams compensation needs to be very spectacular. The new team would be able to acquire Jalen Ramsey with a salary cost of $17 million in 2023, $14.5 million plus a $4 million roster bonus in 2024, and $15.5 million plus a $4 million roster bonus in 2025. Considering that an 'average,' cornerback in the NFL is already over $10 million, and six cornerbacks top $20 million, the Rams would and should rightfully expect at least at least a first-round draft pick in return. But are the Rams even listening to offers?