The NFL trading deadline is on November 2 of this year, right after the eighth week of the season has concluded. The Los Angeles Rams are often involved in trade discussions, whether it be in the offseason or at the deadline and we can’t rule out the possibility that Les Snead isn’t satisfied that this is the roster that will help the team get back to the Super Bowl.
Especially in an ultra-competitive NFC with Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, and Kyler Murray.
Especially in the NFC West, where the “arms race” has been non-stop for a decade.
And especially at a time when the Rams are both in contention to be the top seed in the conference but far from guaranteed to do so.
Snead doesn’t have a first round pick in 2022 or 2023, but does have a small cache of draft choices in the next two years — with the expectation of compensatory picks — and if LA necessitated a smaller move, he could likely pull it off. You could argue need at a number of positions, ranging from cornerback to linebacker to edge rushers and maybe even a blocking tight end at a low cost, but the only need that matters is the need to win.
Could any of these players end up helping an NFC West team — Rams or otherwise — win games this year?
WR Odell Beckham, Jr., Browns
Source: The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reports speculation out of Cleveland that this is the final season for OBJ with the Browns
Has anyone done more with less than Odell Beckham? Somehow he’s marketed himself into being considered as one of the NFL’s great superstars — and judging by how much I’m seeing Dez Bryant on my TV lately, I suspect OBJ will still be around hyping himself up years from now — despite the fact that he turned out to be a bust for the Cleveland Browns.
Yes, a bust. What a bad trade the OBJ trade turned out to be.
Though he caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards in 2019, when Cleveland was still bad and hard to watch, barely crossing over the millennium mark was not the expectation for OBJ when the Browns traded a first, a third, and Jabrill Peppers for him. Beckham’s been nagged by injuries for the last two years, missing 11 of a possible 22 games, and his 53 percent catch rate in that time is abysmal.
His 7.5 yards per target, underwhelming.
His three touchdowns, disappointing.
His last 100-yard game? Over two years ago.
Do I think this will stop the average NFL fan from salivating over the idea of adding Odell Beckham? No, not really.
thinking about prime odell beckham pic.twitter.com/oF9DLqG4F8— Chargers⚡️Union (@ChargersUnion) October 20, 2021
Though there are now at least a couple of dozen wide receivers in the league who are better than him, if not 30 or 40, Beckham’s name draws in people like few others. The Browns are now 3-3 and facing a stretch where injuries could sap them of actual key starters like Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills, and Malik Jackson.
Of course, Beckham is also dealing with a shoulder injury.
Will Cleveland be ready to close the book on the year if they are 3-5 at the deadline, then attempt to compile 2022 draft resources? The Browns look a hell of a lot better than “the Browns” but they also don’t look to be as close to being Super Bowl competitive as many of us thought.
Would the Rams have interest? I don’t think adding a wide receiver makes any sense. Not at the cost of anything.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? The Cardinals are stacked at wideout. Didn’t know I would be saying that this soon. The 49ers struggle to get Brandon Aiyuk involved and it would be a waste to add a receiver with these quarterbacks under center. Seattle might have been interested if they weren’t falling so far out of it now at 2-4.
S Marcus Maye, New York Jets
Source: ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler called him a “prime player to watch at the deadline.”
Maye has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and the hesitation by the Jets to give him a contract extension has opened the door for a trade. He’s not close to an elite safety but Maye is regarded as dependable, he can make a play on the ball, and he could probably start on most defenses. But because his NFL career didn’t start until he was 24, he’s almost already 29 and there may not be a long-term outlook at play here.
Would the Rams have interest? I think adding Maye to the secondary and keeping Taylor Rapp in the box would be beneficial, yes. Could the Rams afford to add Maye and would they be willing to part with a draft pick for a potential ~10-game rental at safety?
Would any NFC West teams have interest? Could safety possibly be a need for the Cardinals? No, it doesn’t seem so. The Rams are maybe the only NFC West team that does make sense.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Source: The Athletic’s Mike Sando noted that the 49ers “have overrings” and that they involve Jimmy Garoppolo.
Obviously what is most surprising about Jimmy Garoppolo trade proposals is that they are coming in October instead of last March. I don’t know what teams Garoppolo could actually help because I don’t think Garoppolo is a good quarterback worthy of starting, but it is interesting that people continue to talk about him that way.
The fact that John Lynch not only still has a job, but is regularly comforted with this idea that he and Kyle Shanahan have been doing well in San Francisco, has stunned me over and over for numerous years.
Would the Rams have interest? Ha.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? Not the 49ers, apparently. When San Francisco officially turns the reins over to Trey Lance, they’re right back to saying “next year, eh?”
WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
Source: PFF suggested it, not sure anyone has reported it but there’s no way that this does not make sense.
First, the Saints traded up for him. Then three years later, the Saints traded him to the Patriots for a first round pick. Then one year later, the Patriots traded him to the Rams for a first round pick. Then two years later, the Rams traded him to the Texans for a second round pick.
Brandin Cooks, every two years. pic.twitter.com/oUx2FuUGoF— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) April 10, 2020
It’s now a year and a half later and while Cooks remains Cooks (40 catches for 481 yards in six games on the worst team), the Texans fear winning more games more than a bee fears man. A bee that is attempting to strip itself of its stinger at all costs.
I don’t imagine Cooks will cost much in trade because Houston has totally given up.
Would the Rams have interest? They couldn’t flat out DENY that they find SOMETHING interesting about Brandin Cooks.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? Similar story to OBJ, except you’re getting a better player, potentially at a lower cost. Receiver just isn’t the position for the division.
CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Texans
Source: More from PFF.
The former 11th overall pick started 16 games for the Texans last year but has seen the bench at times in 2021. For the Texans, that doesn’t always mean you’re bad. It could mean that you’re good, which for the Texans, is bad.
But Hargreaves is probably not “good.”
With so few corners on the market and so many teams interested in help at corner though, Hargreaves should attract no less than attention. If released, he’d surely find a new home soon.
Would the Rams have interest? Yes, the Rams would be interested in anybody who could help fill out the cornerbacks room simply because of injuries and concerns with more injuries. Darious Williams is on IR and Robert Rochell’s already had a bit of an injury scare. At low or no cost, Hargreaves might be able to compete for snaps in Raheem Morris’s defense.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? All four NFC West teams would probably have interest in at least talking about/looking at a cornerback of note.
CB Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts
Source: There’s some thought that the Colts are ready to pack it in
Many sites have mentioned Rhodes as a trade chip, but I’m not sure if any “sources” are attached to that or not. It’s just that Indy is 2-4 and their only wins came against the Dolphins and Texans; teams with a combined 2-10 record.
Xavier Rhodes was once one of the NFL’s best corners but even last year he was one of the NFL’s good corners. He didn’t draw that much interest as a 2021 free agent but with so many teams having cornerback issues right now, he should be more popular.
Would the Rams have interest? Rhodes is 31 but he’s healthy right now and that’s all that will matter to an acquiring team. LA would be getting a discount Casey Hayward maybe if they managed to pull off a deal for Rhodes, and I imagine he and the next guy are just looking to go to a contender.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? The Cards don’t have a great CB need right now but I think Arizona would have interest if for no other reason than to keep him out of the hands of their competitors. Not everyone thought the Cards would be in such a position but if you’re going to hold off the big boys, it’s time to make trades like a big boy.
CB Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins
Source: ProFootballNetwork suggested it, but we don’t need sources to understand why the Dolphins would trade Howard at the deadline
Howard had 10 interceptions last year, held out for a better contract, didn’t get one (except for some better language and upfront money) and the Dolphins absolutely suck again. He’s gotta go. Howard is 28 and he has one interception in five starts this season.
There’s a rumor that Miami could only get a third round pick at this point for Howard and that kind of price tag might really interest Snead. He will have an extra 2022 third round pick because of the Lions hiring Brad Holmes to be the GM.
Would the Rams have interest? Sure! But the money? Not sure they want to make the adjustments to make it affordable and to get him under the cap. That might involve getting an extension with Matthew Stafford done or something.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? Yes, the 49ers definitely, if they somehow think they can manage to still win the Super Bowl this year. Otherwise, why do it?
Cardinals for same reason as I said above.
QB Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
The reports from John McClain this week are that the Texans on nearing a deal to send Deshaun Watson to the Dolphins. This involves a corresponding rumor that Miami would send Tua Tagovailoa to the Washington Football Team.
Though there are extenuating and disturbing circumstances surrounding Watson that have helped make a trade of this magnitude possible, it is still further signaling that we are in a new era of NFL trades. With Matthew Stafford getting dealt in January and possibly Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson getting shipped off to new teams in 2022, the rising cost of an elite QB (and the crazy value of a decent rookie contract QB), putting good-to-great passers on the trading block is becoming passé.
Would the Rams have interest? Thankfully this is not a question we have to ponder anymore. If Les Snead and Sean McVay had sat on their hands with Jared Goff though and were sitting at 3-3 instead, what an awful decision to have to try and make in the middle of the season, then trying to integrate Watson into the system mid-year. No is the answer.
Would any NFC West team have interest? Surely the 49ers discussed it many times prior to the Trey Lance deal.
RB Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
Source: ESPN’s Josina Anderson
The veteran running back who was once a full-fledged starter has barely seen the rock in the last two years and he seems almost certain to go from a team that is headed towards another rebuild.
Would the Rams have interest? After trading two midround picks for Sony Michel, Snead probably wants to stop trading picks for running backs. Then again, using midround picks on backs might be his favorite pastime and he won’t ever stop.
Would any NFC West teams have interest? Arizona doesn’t seem to have any need there. If Seattle was competitive, it could be possible. The 49ers have had injuries at the position — of course — but Marlon Mack isn’t going to be the difference in a win or a loss.