The Los Angeles Rams traded wide receiver Van Jefferson on Tuesday, and while the move was not totally surprising given the team’s depth at the position, what the Rams got back in compensation has some fans scratching their heads.
Overall fans graded the trade as C, which makes sense to me, as it was a player rumored to be on the trade block, so it wasn’t a particularly shocking move. However, due to it only being a swap a late round 2025 draft picks, it may have caused some fans to grade the trade lower overall.
Personally I was hoping for maybe a little bit more for Jefferson based on his playing experience and his flashes of ability to stretch the field, but the 2025 swap of picks was not far off from what I expected.
The fact is, Jefferson has never topped 1,000 yards in a season while being given ample opportunities for playing time on the field. He has also dealt with quite a few injuries in his short career, but most of all, any team trading for him right now would essentially be getting a rental player for 3⁄4 of the season without an extension, as he in the final year of his rookie deal, so there’s not even the luxury of him being on a low cost contract past this season.
It was not all bad with Jefferson, who had 806 yards and 6 touchdowns in the 2021 Super Bowl season and many memorable catches, including Matthew Stafford’s first touchdown pass as a Ram and snagging the game winner from Baker Mayfield against the Las Vegas Raiders last season.
He’s has always been a team player, and all of his teammates speak glowingly of him. Los Angeles tried to do right by Jefferson and send him to a team that would give him opportunities to play before he hit the open market in 2024, knowing they were probably never going to get much back for him in the first place, given his drops, contract and overall performance this year.
Fan confidence in the team has dipped a bit from last week, which is to be expected after a loss and a trade that some did not agree with, but given that the Rams are 2-3, heading into what should be an easier stretch of their schedule on paper, I would say that we should at least be optimistic for the possibilities going forward. The team is still in the thick of the NFC conference, having a chance to get back to .500 with a win this week.
This game has more implications than expected, and Los Angeles will need to be ready to play against the Cards, because getting back to 3-3 and picking up a win has a much different feel than being sent to the basement of the NFC west division with a loss.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.