Why the LA Rams could be active at the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline

At 1-2, the LA Rams could end up in the NFL Playoffs, or making an early pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Here are some trade options at the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline to help the Rams to that outcome.
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Shaquil Barrett
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Contenders: Rams trade for Buccaneers OLB Shaquil Barrett

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in rebuild mode and finding that life after veteran quarterback Tom Brady is not as apocalyptic as they were originally led to believe. Former LA Rams quarterback Bakey Mayfield is doing just enough to scratch and claw the Buccaneers to success. But that does not mean that the Buccaneers won't listen to offers for veteran players.

Veteran outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett would be a perfect fit for the LA Rams if the Rams eventually find themselves in a playoff push position. The two-time Superbowl Champion and All-Pro edge rusher can do it all and would fill the veteran mentor role that former Rams ILB Bobby Wagner held during his 2022 cameo season with the Rams. Barrett not only thrives as a solid defender but is more than adequate in pass coverage as well. At age 30, Barrett put up a very impressive set of PFF grades of 73.2 with run defense, and pass coverage grades of 70.6 and 76.4 respectively.

Still some gas left in his tank

His pass rushing may be experiencing some decline, but the Rams would be best to utilize him as a pass cover and run stuffer in any case. The past two seasons, Barrett has missed games dealing with ACL/MCL injuries, but should have had plenty of rest and recovery to return to his old self.

In 2021, Barrett had 51 tackles, 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception. Additionally, he accounted for 75 total pressures and a PFF coverage grade of 79.5. The almost 31-year-old veteran has two years remaining on his contract and would only account for $1.2 million of the Rams cap in 2023. So why would the Buccanneers wish to trade him?

The Buccaneers are about to run into a buzz saw on their schedule. After two wins against the winless Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, the Bucs dropped a game to the Philadelphia Eagles. But now they face the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Buffalo Bills. After that gauntlet, they will likely be 2-6 and looking to reload in 2024.

Would the Rams see any trouble in acquiring the veteran edge rusher? Well, one issue would come in 2024, the final year of his contract, where he is expected to make $16.2 million. LA Rams GM Les Snead could restructure this contract or potentially decide to trade him away in 2024.