On the heels of a three-game losing streak culminating in a beat down by the Niners, Rams GM Les Snead decided to take a page out of Charlie’s Colorform City and give the plot a twist. Snead saw his team’s stock plummeting and decided to make like Mr. Burns and be aggressive. He put half his stock in the blue chips like Transatlantic Zepplin, Amalgamated Spats, Congreve’s Inflammable Powder, and then put the rest into that up and coming Baltimore Opera Hat company.
He dropped several trade bombs Tuesday afternoon climaxing in landing disgruntled Jags corner Jalen Ramsey. In a vacuum, all three trades have merit but when coupled with the dire cap sheet the Rams have ahead of them, the Jalen Ramsey trade, in particular, seems like an act of desperation. If they hit then he’s Alan after counting cards but if he busts out he’s getting taken to the back of the casino and he’ll lose his thumbs. There’s no middle ground.
Trade 1: Rams Trade 2021 5th Round Pick To The Browns For OT Austin Corbett
The biggest flaw on the team this season is without a doubt the offensive line. They needed help before Joe Noteboom tore his ACL and MCL during the Niner game but now they needed HELP.
Corbett was the 33rd overall pick in the 2018 draft and on paper seems like a tough sell considering he lost his starting job. On the plus side, he only has a cap hit of 518K and Aaron Kromer could revive him. The Rams weren’t going to get Trent Williams considering his salary. They went dumpster diving and came up with another second-year player. It’s not great but at that price, it’s not going to kill them either. If he can be salvaged at all then kudos to Kromer and Snead, but if he’s just another second-year lineman who can’t block they can move on from him quickly.
Trade 2: Rams Trade CB Marcus Peters To Ravens For LB Kenny Young And A 2020 4th Round Pick
As talented as Marcus Peters is, and how much he’s made an impact on the LA community, fans were lining up to drive him to the airport. The Rams traded a second-round pick for him last year and on paper it made sense. They signed a corner still on his rookie deal and he had the potential to be the next best corner in the league. Unfortunately, it became apparent that it wasn’t going to happen. He continually got burnt on big plays because he gambles rather than playing coverage. He couldn’t tackle and while he can make highlight plays, they came few and far between. Peters is a free agent next season and the Rams don’t have the resources or desire to pay him like a top corner.
The Ravens needed another corner and in return, they sent over linebacker Kenny Young. The former UCLA Bruin was drafted in the fourth round last year and while he has had flashes he hasn’t become a consistent impact player. That said, the Rams need another viable linebacker with Clay Matthews being out for 4-6 weeks and Dante Fowler collecting more flags than sacks.
Cory Littleton is trying to keep that unit together but they need help. Young was a starter in Baltimore and could stand to have Wade Phillips coach him up. The bonus is that Young is under a cost-controlled contract through 2022 so if he pans out hooray! Trading Peters also helped shed some salary which they desperately needed to do.
Trade 3: Rams Trade A 2020 1st Rounder, A 2021 1st Rounder, And A 2021 4th Round Pick To Jacksonville For CB Jalen Ramsey
Sigh, now the main event. The Rams needed someone to fix the 20th ranked pass defense per DVOA especially after getting torched the last three weeks. Jalen Ramsey is arguably one of, if not the best, corner in the league. Unfortunately, the price is STEEP. Sure, Snead trades 1st round picks like Roman Roy trades barbs but this is insane.
Obviously, Jalen Ramsey is no mere rental and he’ll likely be given a principal’s ransom either in 2020 or 2021. That sounds great, right? Aaron Donald is the best defensive tackle and now they have arguably the best corner.
In 2021: Cooper Kupp, John Johnson, Josh Reynolds, Gerald Everett, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Troy Hill. That’s dark! They’ll have about $40 mil next year which seems like a lot but not to replace all those pieces.
Les Snead is now in a position where he’ll have to make some hard choices. If he wants to extend Jalen Ramsey in the next two years. It’s not all about the aforementioned guys (for which he’ll receive compensation picks) but the guys he’s extended over the last year. It might seem farfetched that he could get out of any of those deals but this is the same guy who idiotically extended Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree. Despite those two awful contracts, he found suckers to take them off his hands and he can do it again. It’s not a guarantee but it’s the NFL there are always dumb teams.
It’s sad it might come to that but that’s the price of going all in. Snead has taken risks and like Baby Billy Freeman he’s managed to find a way to land on his feet. The Jalen Ramsey trade is his biggest gamble yet. For Ramsey’s part, he’ll have to be AWESOME to justify this move and not just Pro Bowl awesome but playoff MVP caliber. The Rams crossed the rubicon between wheeling and dealing and going all in. If they win a title than it’ll all be worth it but if they make like the Dodgers and fizzle out, Snead will have done to the Rams’ future what Kendall Roy did to his bed. It’ll be a tense couple of months.
The offense is struggling to score like its Moe Syzslak, and the fans are having Jeff Fisher PTSD, but hey at least they probably won’t get burnt by the likes of Jameis Winston again. Anyway, welcome to L.A. Jalen Ramsey, no pressure!