NFL Exec Says Rams ‘Will at Least Explore’ Trading Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey

Getty Jalen Ramsey warms up before his January 8, 2023 game in Seattle.

Les Snead denied the Los Angeles Rams are in a rebuilding stage following a 5-12 season, but called this offseason a “remodel” phase when speaking with the L.A. media on January 20.

Still, that wording is the indication the Rams general manager and the organization may have to move on from key members of their Super Bowl 56 roster. And one AFC executive told ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday, January 24, that he sees Jalen Ramsey as a potential trade as part of the Rams’ “remodel” plans.

“(Ramsey) is one I think the Rams will at least explore (moving),” the personnel director, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ESPN. “He’s still a top guy, but the play has fallen off a little bit and (he) could use a change of scenery.”

Ramsey already sent a cryptic post following the Week 18 finale earlier in January 2023 that got fans wondering if he is on his way out.

Is Ramsey Tradeable?

If Ramsey is moved by the Rams’ brass, it’ll mark the third straight high-profile trade the franchise has witnessed — joining 2018 Rams NFC champion quarterback Jared Goff in 2021 and Robert Woods in 2022 as well-known Rams who were dealt away. Biggest question, though, is how tradeable would Ramsey be?

“Ramsey, 28, was the NFL’s No. 1 corner for two consecutive seasons in our summer executive polls. He would have a market,” Fowler writes.

Ramsey signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Rams that doesn’t allow him to become an unrestricted free agent until the 2027 season. But, his base salary went from $1.5 million during the run to the Super Bowl to jumping to $15 million in 2022 per Spotrac.

Perhaps the Rams can restructure his deal to keep him from being considered a trade asset. His return additionally can prevent the Rams from applying too much pressure on 2022 rookies Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick to lead this unit this early in their careers.

But, as Fowler writes, “Restructuring a few contracts would get the team in palatable cap position, but after a five-win season, the Rams could revisit their top-heavy roster philosophy.”

And, as pointed out by Fowler, Ramsey would still have a market if a trade is considered. Perhaps a cornerback needy team and defense that struggled defending the pass in 2022 can use a veteran like Ramsey.

His 2022 campaign witnessed ebb-and-flow moments. While Ramsey delivered career-highs in tackles (88), solo stops (64), pass deflections (18) and tied a season-best four interceptions, he still surrendered more receiving yards and touchdowns his side (659 yards and five scores) than in 2021 (624 yards and three touchdowns allowed).

Who Else Could be Moved?

Fowler mentioned five total names in his report: Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald. There was a primary emphasis on the defensive players, though.

“For Los Angeles, the reason is clear: The Rams are nearly $14 million over the salary cap and have six players with cap hits of $20-plus million. Two of those players, wide receiver Cooper Kupp ($27.8. million) and quarterback Matthew Stafford ($20 million), aren’t going anywhere. The other three — defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($26 million), cornerback Jalen Ramsey ($25.2 million) and pass-rusher Leonard Floyd ($22 million) — have cap hits to give L.A. something to think about (though it’s hard to believe the Rams would deal Donald).”

Donald already revealed he’s coming back in 2023. He also signed his blockbuster extension in the summer of 2022. Floyd, though, would be a significant blow if he’s lost this coming March. He led the Rams in sacks this past season and has never fallen below nine sacks in each season he’s been with the Rams. But Floyd does carry a potential out option for 2023 in his four-year, $64 million deal according to Spotrac.

The focus for the offseason is on this “remodel” method Snead plans to implement. And now Ramsey trade chatter has began to increase with one executive believing the Rams will listen to offers.

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