Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler hasn’t been in the position for a long time but he’s already proven he’s willing to make big moves. That was clear when he traded for star wide receiver Davante Adams last offseason. Following a 6-11 season, he’ll need to make a few big moves to get the team back in playoff contention.
Many of the Raiders’ biggest needs are on the defensive side of the ball. The team hasn’t had an elite cornerback since Nnamdi Asomugha left the team in 2010. There’s a strong chance the team will draft a cornerback early in the 2023 NFL Draft but they may want to go after a sure thing. That’s where Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey comes in.
The five-time Pro Bowler missed the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2017 and may not be regarded as the best cornerback in the league anymore. The Rams won the Super Bowl less than a year ago but they were a mess in 2022 and went 5-12. Much of that was due to injuries but they have serious issues on offense. Ramsey is going to be a cap hit of $25.2 million for the Rams next season and the team doesn’t have a first-round pick due to the trade for Matthew Stafford.
Los Angeles needs to hit on some young players in the draft due to having so much money tied up in veterans. Ramsey is only 28 and still a high-level player but the Rams might be better off trading him this offseason while he still has value. The Raiders would make a lot of sense as a suitor. The team has drafted cornerbacks in the first round of the 2013, 2017 and 2020 drafts. None of those players got second contracts with the Raiders. Las Vegas needs a sure thing at cornerback and Ramsey would certainly provide that.
Ramsey Wanted to Be a Raider Before Rams Trade
Ramsey makes sense in Las Vegas for a lot of reasons but perhaps the biggest is that he wants to be there. When he was still with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was seeking a trade, he came out and said the Raiders were one of the teams he wanted to go to. The trade never materialized and he was sent to the Rams.
Last year, Ramsey had a chance to further discuss the situation.
“The team that I pushed for the most. I was like ‘Please get me here’ was at the time the Oakland Raiders,” Ramsey said on the September 7, 2022, episode of the “Behind The Cut” podcast. “I dang near begged to go to the Raiders. I begged to go to the Raiders and they sent in an offer. It wasn’t the exact offer that Jacksonville wanted and the Rams came with the exact offer.”
Is Ramsey Still a Top CB?
Due to his outspoken nature, fans like to see Ramsey struggle. He had some moments this season where he didn’t play his best football, including in the Raiders game when he was lined up against Davante Adams. The star wide receiver was able to beat him on a few key players.
However, Ramsey is still one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Playing for a much weaker Rams defense that was missing Aaron Donald for much of the year, Ramsey was the third-highest-rated cornerback in the league by Pro Football Focus. The player ahead of him in the rankings is Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain, who was also cooked by Adams during the season. Ramsey is still a high-level player and should be for a few more years. He’s likely not worth a top-10 draft pick due to his massive contract but the Raiders should strongly consider offering up a second-round pick to the Rams or even a 2024 first-round pick.