Yesterday, the Los Angeles Rams made waves.
I love the Rams. They’ve been my team since I moved to the US from South Korea. Despite getting egged on for being a Cleveland Browns fan from my fellow TSTers (because I lived in Ohio and just moved from there to California), the Rams will always be my team. However, even with a big name trade netting perhaps the best cornerback in the NFL, my heart only hurts because this move only continues a dangerous trend by GM Lester Snead.
First, was the move to acquire Browns interior OL Austin Corbett.
Corbett was the 33rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and yet he only started one game in his NFL career. In fact, Corbett has only played in 13 games primarily on PAT/Field Goal. Still, the Rams gave up a fifth-round pick for a special teams contributor. Sure, maybe a change of scenery will help, but this is a player that couldn’t beat out Eric Kush who Rams General Manager Les Snead cut before Kush tore his hamstring and missed a whole season. A fifth-round pick doesn’t kill a team build; however, the Rams have continued to use draft picks after draft picks to try and get the offensive line right for the long term. It just hassn’t seem to work.
Look at Snead’s draft history for the OL since taking over drafts in 2012:
2012 - Rokevious Watkins (5th round)
2013 - Barrett Jones (4th round)
2014 - Greg Robinson (1st round, 2nd overall LOL), Mitchell Van Dyk (7th round), Demetrius Rhaney (7th round)
2015 - Rob Havenstein (2nd round, first OL to earn second contract), Jamon Brown (3rd round), Andrew Donnal (4th round), Cody Wichmann (6th round)
2016 - None
2017 - None
2018 - Joe Noteboom (3rd round), Brian Allen (4th round), Jamil Demby (6th round)
2019 - Bobby Evans (3rd round), David Edwards (5th round)
A staggering 14 players drafted and yet only one has earned a second contract. Heck, look at the current offensive line now as it involves from left to right a free agent (Andrew Whitworth), late overmatched draft pick (Demby), struggling center (Allen), free agent (Austin Blythe), and one developed player (Havenstein).
This move made some sense. The Rams liked Kenny Young and weren’t going to re-sign Peters after inconsistent play. However, Peters joins the long list of defensive backs that for some reason, Les Snead and the front office does not want to re-sign:
Marcus Peters makes it the 7th DB since Demoff/Pastoors took over contract negotiations that they didn't re-sign (Nickell Robey-Coleman re-signed as slot corner):— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) October 15, 2019
AND YET, the RAMS decided to trade not one, but TWO first-round picks AND a fourth-round pick as well for ANOTHER defensive back. The Rams’ front office does not extend defensive backs (except for Nickell Robey-Coleman) and yet, now they will either do so for the first time in a very long time OR make one of the most puzzling trades in history.
It’s happening: Former Jaguars’ CB Jalen Ramsey is being traded to the LA Rams for two first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, and a fourth-round pick in 2021, source tells ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2019
Let's update:— Sosa K (@QBsMVP) October 16, 2019
So in total:
CB Jalen Ramsey
ILB Kenny Young
OL Austin Corbett
2020 5th-round pick
2020 1st-round pick
2021 1st-round pick
2021 4th-round pick
CB Marcus Peters
2020 5th-round pick#ItCame https://t.co/u5fbosplPM
It was a busy day for the Rams, but busy does not always mean good. In the Slack room yesterday, the room was buzzing with debate and mixed opinions. Sure, the Rams were able to secure the services of Jalen Ramsey at a steep cost, but the trend only continues. Snead either can’t or refuses to build the team the traditional route and the price tag only continues to get delayed and larger in terms of the overall health of the team.
Current 2021 #LARams outlook:— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) October 16, 2019
DL: Aaron Donald
Perhaps Snead is afraid of making a big mistake after selecting players like Greg Robinson, Tavon Austin, and Alec Ogletree in the first round. Those mistakes were even further more hurtful after Executive Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff and Vice President of Football & Business Administration Tony Pastoors tore up two years of rookie contract to make Austin a top-5 paid receiver and extended Ogletree to be a top-5 paid linebacker.
Sure, Snead hit on Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald, but is he too scared to make a call in round one? Why is Snead so adamant about trading away YEARS of cost control before the CBA expires?
One thing to remember re: any other potential trades is roster timeline.— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) October 15, 2019
A 2020 pick is cost-controlled for 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023.
Not sure the Rams can trade for someone they have to pay a year later unless they're not re-signing a TON of impending FAs on the roster.
Snead has burned draft picks in win-now moves and, by hook or crook, the Rams earned a trip to the Super Bowl last season. But soon, the bill will be due and unfortunately, it is going to cost the Rams a chunk of their team, especially starting next season when inflated salaries start to kick in.
The Rams will always be my team, but seeing the window of contention being possibly closed shut due to controllable decisions is more painful than watching something else take over. Los Angeles will be in the headlines for making a splashy trade. Unfortunately, it only continues to be mostly flash and not a lot of substance just like the majority of Snead’s tenure as GM.