The Los Angeles Rams currently have one of the most underwhelming edge defender rooms in all of football. It’s not to say they do not have talent in players like Byron Young, Ochaun Mathis, Nick Hampton, Michael Hoecht and Zach VanValkenburg. However, it’s certainly fair to question the lack of experience at the position for the Rams.
Insert Carl Lawson of the New York Jets?
Well, I know Sean McVay didn’t make many Rams fans feel great after he basically shot down the idea of being able to trade at the deadline. However, that’s not entirely true. The Rams did free up some space via the Van Jefferson and Cam Akers trades and have plenty of picks they could theoretically trade if the right deal came along which includes their top three round picks.
Why would the Rams be interested in Lawson though? That’s a fair question. Lawson has one pressure in 52 snaps this year. However, if you look at last year’s body of work, Lawson had seven sacks and 49 pressures on the quarterback and played all 17 games for the Jets. He’s 28-years-old and has plenty left in the tank. Currently, Lawson is buried on the depth chart behind a loaded edge room for the Jets. Lawson would certainly be an upgrade for the Rams pass rush.
As far as cost, Lawson is in a contract year and wouldn’t cost much of anything for the Rams cap wise. Looking at the draft capital? I don’t think it would be that much either. Looking at the latest trade for Randy Gregory, the Broncos gave up Gregory and a seventh-round pick for a sixth-rounder. I think that’s around the wheelhouse of what it would take to get Lawson from the Jets.
The Jets are rumored to be interested in dealing both Carl Lawson and Mecole Hardman. However, I don’t see how Hardman would make any sense for the Rams. With Lawson, the Rams would have to feel like this team could make a legitimate playoff run as he would likely be a rental heading into 2024. It doesn’t fit the Rams previous MO but again if they want to upgrade without spending a lot of draft capital this move would make sense.
I still would not rule the Rams out of any trade no matter what McVay said. It’s going to get tough to ignore the trade options and stand pat the more this season unravels. We could see the Rams change their mind and go back after Brian Burns like they did last year or someone of that caliber but if not that, and if not standing pat, this would be the best move for the Rams moving forward.