Rams Trade LB Kenny Young to AFC in Surprise Deal: Report

Kenny Young Aaron Donald

Getty Aaron Donald celebrates with his now former Rams teammate Kenny Young during the Sunday, October 24, home victory over the Lions.

Kenny Young saw action on 38 plays in the 28-19 Los Angeles Rams‘ Week 7 victory over the Detroit Lions: Tying for third on the Rams’ defense with seven tackles and receiving an 82.3 tackling grade by Pro Football Focus.

But Sunday became the last time Young will wear the Rams uniform.

In a surprise trade on Monday, October 25, the Rams made a deal with the NFL trade deadline quickly approaching next Tuesday, November 2, sending the inside linebacker Young to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a draft pick upgrade.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the trade news at 11:28 a.m. PT:

At 12:22 p.m. PT on Monday, the Broncos confirmed the move:

What Was the Motive Behind Young Trade?

Again, this move comes as a swift surprise for the Ram defense.

The 26-year-old Young racked up 39 tackles including 24 solo stops in all seven games for the now 6-1 Rams. He reached 10 tackles twice in games against the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here’s one notable read he made in the 34-24 victory over the Bucs:

Of course, this play from 2020 likely sticks with Ram fans from the New England Patriots game:

However, if there’s reasoning as to why the Rams are shipping away Young, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue points to this motivation in the Rams’ LB room:

Online Reactions Are on the Stunned Side

Young’s production in the first seven games was an improvement from his 2020 early slate, as he reached 25 total tackles and had no games of reaching double digits in tackles.

Plus, nearly 24 hours ago, Young was lauded for his play against his ex-Rams teammate Jared Goff and his new team the Lions.

So the online reactions generally fell into the stunned category. L.A. radio personality Nick Hamilton of Sirius XM was one who was left scratching his head

Sosa Kremenjas of PFF is another who views this move as a surprise.

ESPN Rams beat reporter Lindsey Thiry also was left perplexed by the move.

Perhaps, if anything, maybe one reason behind Young’s sudden departure involves his ability in coverage. Against Goff and the Lions, Young surrendered the most passing yardage among the LB group (55) and allowed the highest yards per reception average at 18.3.

Young struggled the most against Kalif Raymond, who caught 2 passes for 49 yards and averaged 24.5 yards a catch when Young was the closest coverage defender. Raymond finished the game with 115 yards on 6 receptions.

However, Young isn’t one to constantly miss tackles. He had zero in that category versus the Lions. He’s only missed three tackle opportunities through 384 defensive snaps this season via PFF. He also had this sack of the seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady:

But for Young, it’s the second time in his career he’ll change teams near the mid-season point. Back in 2019, the Rams managed to work out a deal to nab Young from the Baltimore Ravens. Per Spotrac, Young had a base salary of $2,183,000 with the Rams but was set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

His departure now leaves Jones, Troy Reeder and Travin Howard as the remaining active ILB’s for the Rams.

The Rams Twitter account posted this graphic following the trade:

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