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Jalen Ramsey is Rams most valuable trade chip, if they decide to rebuild

Rams would get cap space and at least one high draft pick

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Did Jalen Ramsey imply on Twitter Friday morning that he sees his time with the Los Angeles Rams coming to an end this offseason?

I do not take it lightly to try and interpret the tweets of a player, particularly one like Jalen Ramsey. But the reason why I believe there is more here than the usual nonsense from most tweets by all people is the word “If”.

“It is what it is! It was what it was! If that’s the end, I went out wit a BANG!”

My initial reaction to “If that’s the end” was the thought that maybe the Rams season wasn’t over. But then I realize, quickly of course, that the Rams season is over. If “what” is the end? It’s also not as though fans could argue that Ramsey isn’t talking about football because he’s added three images and one video of him playing football with the L.A. Rams to his tweet about “the end”.

Ramsey intercepted two passes in Week 18 against the Seahawks and had a stellar performance apart from a penalty that almost helped Seattle win the game in regulation.

It’s clear to see that he’s talking about how he had a two-interception game to end his season, but “if” that’s the end? Ramsey must suspect that either he’s retiring (no way) or that he’s being traded. And IF the Los Angeles Rams do put Jalen Ramsey on the trade block, they will get one hell of a return.

Jalen Ramsey is only 28 and he tied his career-high with four interceptions in 2022 even though he clearly was not as good of a fit for Raheem Morris as he seemed to be with Brandon Staley. Or at least, he wasn’t able to showcase his abilities as well by playing in soft zone coverage—or so “they” say—and Ramsey was said to have allowed five touchdowns this season per Pro-Football-Reference.

He allowed two in 2020 with Staley. His completion percentage allowed that year was 50%, compared to 59% in 2021 and 63% in 2022.

Ramsey is set to carry a $25.2 million cap hit for the Rams in 2023, but the team can save $5.6 million by trading him. They would also save an immense amount in 2024, not only by trading his $14.5 million base salary and $4 million roster bonus, but also with regards to rollover cap space from 2023.

L.A. has few other options on the roster who carry that kind of savings, should they decide to go that route and risk losing one of their best players in return for cap space and draft picks. Trading Joe Noteboom carries immediate savings, but Noteboom isn’t likely to have near the draft pick return of Ramsey. The same goes for Allen Robinson, if the Rams are even lucky enough to find a team that would take him.

That means that if Les Snead is seriously considering how he can save cap space and add draft picks, the one and perhaps only choice other than Noteboom is Jalen Ramsey. Is this something that Ramsey has heard is possible or only something that his agent has told him could be possible?

The Rams traded two first round picks for Jalen Ramsey in 2019, with both of those selections being in the bottom half of the first round and resulting in K’Lavon Chaisson and Travis Etienne for the Jaguars. I think it would be easy to identify some playoff teams who would be willing to part with their 2023 first round pick, and more, for Ramsey, who is signed through 2025. Just look at the impact had by Darius Slay on the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles traded for Slay in 2020, when he was 29, and he has made the last two Pro Bowl rosters as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. The Lions only got a third and a fifth for Slay, but Snead should be able to use examples like him and teammate James Bradberry as examples why veteran corners can be extremely valuable.

Perhaps the Rams could even talk to the Chargers, as they didn’t get the return on investment with J.C. Jackson that they expected and Staley’s defense ranked below average in 2022. I think you could also throw the Patriots in there, as Bill Belichick is mortified with mediocrity and has a penchant for adding veteran stars, especially at cornerback.

New England holds the 14th overall pick and Belichick does better with players he knows than rookies he doesn’t.

There are many options out there, including keeping Ramsey. But if this is the end, he would go out with a BANG! And in with a first round pick plus cap savings.