In less than 30 days, the Los Angeles Rams will be among the NFL teams making roster changes — from signing players to severing ties with veteran ones.
Could All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey be a part of the latter? Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report wrote down some potential suitors on Wednesday, February 15 in the event the Rams do cut the perennial Pro Bowler, which includes him saying “Don’t rule it out” involving one AFC North possibility.
That possibility is the Pittsburgh Steelers — which would pair Ramsey with Super Bowl winning head coach Mike Tomlin and could get Ramsey to replace one free agent defensive back. While Gagnon says the Steelers may not be top contenders for Ramsey if he isn’t a Ram, he’s still not taking away the thought of the 28-year-old playing in Steel City.
“They’re always competitive under head coach Mike Tomlin and they did win six of their last seven games in 2022,” Gagnon wrote. “For the right price, Ramsey might be willing to have some patience with a popular team trying to pull off a lightning-quick rebuild, and the Steelers — who for once are in half-decent cap shape — might decide it’s worth paying a premium to replace impending free agent Cameron Sutton with a six-time Pro Bowler.”
Gagnon ended his Steelers idea with: “Don’t rule it out.”
Insider Mentions Ramsey as Part of Franchise Reassessment Involving the Rams
Gagnon isn’t the only analyst who is believing Ramsey could be moved from the “Rams House” once free agency begins on March 15.
ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler gave a detailed column on Tuesday, February 14 that takes a dive into some overhaul possibilities for each roster including the Rams. Fowler grouped each team under notable categories labeled: “Still major contenders,” or “need a postseason breakthrough,” all the way to placing teams in the “time to reassess the state of the franchise” category.
Fowler plugged the Rams in the latter category — and mentioned Ramsey’s name.
“Teams I’ve talked to wonder if the Rams will part with cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who has a $25.2 million cap hit,” Fowler wrote.
Fowler mentions how the Rams are more than minus $14 million in salary cap space while holding 10 draft picks for the upcoming April draft. With that many picks available to them and if the Rams opt to keep all 10, that would mean clearing significant cap room which could include Ramsey.
Can Rams Still Keep Ramsey?
The verbose Ramsey sparked some speculation about his future back on January 13 that included the wording “If that’s the end, I went out wit a BANG! Still THAT!” That got fans and media wondering if Ramsey will be moved.
If he is moved, it still comes with high risk for the Rams. It’s one thing to potentially part ways with a Pro Bowl talent in the defensive backend. However, Ramsey is a leader of the defense and moving him creates additional pressure for the 2022 rookie class of CBs to not only mature right away, but establish themselves as leaders in the CB room. First-year players like Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick showed lots of potential, but it looks too early for them to take on the leadership mantle if there’s no Ramsey.
But with Ramsey’s cap figure, keeping him would likely have to mean restructuring his deal — which means he earns lesser money than he previously signed for. With Ramsey in his prime at 28, that could present a problem for both parties. And as Gagnon writes, “Ramsey would likely be extremely expensive on the open market.”
Hence the belief Ramsey could become a suitor elsewhere, including a place like Pittsburgh that’s in a situation where it needs CB help.