As we inch closer to the NFL trade deadline, the Los Angeles Rams could become a “buyer”, being one of the teams who could legitimately contend for a Super Bowl title. Generally, the biggest sellers are the worst teams looking to pawn off veterans in return for assets like draft picks.
Let’s take a look at some potential trades for the Rams to target:
Note: The Rams currently have $3.336m in cap space, per Over The Cap.
Washington Redskins EDGE Ryan Kerrigan
The Redskins are an 0-5 team who should be looking to pawn off as many veterans as it possibly can, and stud edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan isn’t excluded. Kerrigan is one of the most consistent players in the league, collecting 11+ sacks four times in the past five years. Kerrigan is 31-years old with a contract that expires in 2021, with cap hits of $13.95m ($10.75m left this year) and $11.75m. The Rams would have to maneuver the cap to acquire Kerrigan, though he would present such a logical addition as he’d instantly become the Rams’ best edge rusher, and has a connection with Head Coach Sean McVay and Linebackers Coach Joe Barry (among others).
Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams
Surprise, surprise, the Redskins showed up on the list for a second time, and this time it’s for a disgruntled player who has yet to play in 2019 due to a holdout. Trent Williams is among the best players in the entire league and a future Hall of Fame left tackle, the issue is his lack of trust stemming from the Redskins’ training and conditioning staff which reportedly misdiagnoses players and mistreats them. Williams is a seven-time pro bowler and one-time All-Pro. Williams’ contract also expires in 2021, with cap hits of $3.525m and $14.655m. The issue becomes where Williams would play, because the 31-year old is a left tackle (who’s played left guard in spurts), though the Rams already employ Andrew Whitworth at the same spot.
Cincinnati Bengals EDGE Carlos Dunlap
Carlos Dunlap is the second edge rusher to make the list, and the 30-year old veteran would be a sneaky-yet-awesome add for a team who could be looking at upgrading their pass rush next to defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Dunlap had 37 sacks, 43 tackles-for-loss, and 102 quarterback hits from 2015-2018. The Bengals are among the worst teams in football, giving Head Coach Zac Taylor — who has a strong relationship with McVay from his time in L.A. — a prime opportunity to move veterans for picks, which Taylor could then use to craft his roster. Dunlap is under contract until 2022, with cap hits of $3.6m for the remainder of this season, and $11.05m and $13.5m over the next two seasons.
Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins
Pairing Aaron Donald with Geno Atkins — who’s Donald-like — would prove to be an incredible move for the interior defensive line, though the price tag would cause some maneuvering. Atkins is under contract until 2023, with cap hits of $8.2m, $14.2m, $14.8m, and $16.05m. The 31-year-old is one of the most consistent defenders in the league, making seven pro bowls and three All-Pro’s in his career. Atkins accumulated 28 sacks, 36 tackles-for-loss, and 65 quarterback hits from 2016-2018.
Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey
The disgruntled 24-year-old superstar is the most unlikely on this list, though every team should at least inquire about Jalen Ramsey. With two pro bowl’s and one All-Pro under his belt already, Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the league, with the potential to continue down that road for the next decade. Ramsey would only cost $3.6m in 2019, but he’d need a new contract in the offseason, which is sure to make him the richest cornerback in football. In addition to a massive new contract, it’d also take an insane amount of trade capital to acquire Ramsey, making this move incredibly unlikely.
Denver Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr.
Chris Harris Jr. becomes a topic for the Rams every trade deadline/free agency period, due to his connection with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and fellow cornerback Aqib Talib. Harris is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, as the 30-year-old has the potential to play on the boundary and routinely kicks into the nickel spot on passing downs. Harris would cost the Rams $9.8m this year, with his contract expiring at the end of the season. This trade is a tough one to envision, specifically because the Rams would need to part with one of their top three cornerbacks to open playing time for Harris.