Jalen Ramsey Trade Details
The Los Angeles Rams are finalizing a trade that will send cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins for the 77th pick in the 2023 Draft and tight end Hunter Long. The move comes as no surprise. It has been anticipated for much of the Rams offseason.
First and foremost the trade is a money move. On its face, the Ramsey trade looks to heavily benefit Miami. Not only does it look bad from a ‘grading the Jalen Ramsey trade’ perspective, but it also does NOT greatly aid in the Rams budgeting efforts in the near term. In 2023, Ramsey’s dead money will be $19.6 million, and cap savings will be only about $4.5 million after accounting for Long’s contract, according to OverTheCap. The Rams remain $3.5 million over the cap.
In 2024, though, this allows the Rams to save $26.7 million in cap space. The Rams are still over the cap in 2023, but for 2024 they already have more than $50 million at their fingertips. This doesn’t include the inevitable cut or trade of Allen Robinson, which will be the next move for the Rams to make.
The Jalen Ramsey trade should clear up any confusion about the Rams using 2023 as a
rebuilding remodeling year. Unless the Rams are planning on being heavily invested in free agency, which would defeat the whole purpose of trading Ramsey, this team will have several open positions, especially on defense, heading into the upcoming season.
Who is Hunter Long?
Hunter Long was the 82nd overall pick in the 2021 draft by the Dolphins. He was the third tight end selected in the draft. He has had one catch for eight yards and under 300 snaps since joining the NFL. He is the Rams desired size for a tight end, 6’5” 254 lbs, although he lacks the tenacious love of blocking that McVay wants from his tight ends.
In college, he had good production with 57 receptions, 685 yards, and five touchdowns in 11 games in 2020 at Boston College. His 57 catches led FBS and are second-most in Boston College history among tight ends.
The Rams needed depth at the position and he will be a quality option, but won’t challenge Tyler Higbee for the starting position. He is a solid pass catcher with good enough speed at the position but lacks elusiveness. He is a good route runner but will need to add some moves to his repertoire to get separation. He is a good option to pick up first downs.
It would be interesting to see him in the slot in 12 personnel sets, but I won’t be holding my breath for McVay to call those plays regularly.
Effect on the Rams Draft
Adding a third-rounder will go a long way toward the Rams near and long-term goals. The team has many needs to address. An edge rusher, cornerback, and an offensive tackle are all in need of plug-and-play starters.
With compensatory picks the Rams now have 11 in 2023.
If the Rams are lucky they can get two starters out of the 2023 draft. This just gives them one more bite at the apple to get it right. I imagine that, at least, one of the Rams first three picks will be an offensive skill player. Since they are looking beyond 2023, not every one of their picks will have to hit right away.