Jalen Ramsey is one of the top CBs in the NFL again, should the Rams have paid him?
By most measures, Jalen Ramsey was the best all-around cornerback in the league when he spent three and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. By those same qualifications, Ramsey has been the best cornerback in the NFL since his return to the Miami Dolphins three games ago. Should the Rams have simply guaranteed his contract, as he wanted, instead of trading him to the Dolphins for a small fraction of his value when he was traded to L.A. in 2019?
The answer to that question is at least a lot less clear than it seemed a few months ago.
Ramsey intercepted two passes against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, giving him three picks in three games after returning from a knee injury suffered in training camp. Quarterbacks have a passer rating of 0.0 when throwing in his direction, according to PFF.
That’s not a very big sample size, but when coupled with the fact that Ramsey is a future Hall of Fame cornerback it makes it easier to assume that he’s been as good as anyone at the position recently.
Should the Rams have simply guaranteed his contract, which would have done nothing to change their salary cap, instead of accepting a third round pick and tight end Hunter Long to ship him to Miami?
Ramsey has a $14.5 million base salary in 2024, money that was not guaranteed when he was traded to the Dolphins. Though Ramsey previously denied that he requested a trade from the Rams, he later tweeted that he had “dreamed of this day for a month” when the deal was announced and that was soon followed by news that Miami was guaranteeing the next two years of his deal. That being the five-year, $100 million contract he signed with the Rams in 2020.
L.A. could have kept Ramsey and it wouldn’t have changed their salary cap this year, as the team is paying $19.6 million in dead money to not have him.
The Rams clearly didn’t do it for salary cap purposes, but also didn’t do it to sell high for a good return before his lost his value after turning 30. The Dolphins sent back third-string tight end Hunter Long and a third round pick, which L.A. used to select Byron Young. That’s a happy return on the draft pick so far, Young’s been a quality rookie edge player, but he could be a Hall of Famer and that wouldn’t change the fact that the Rams only got a third round pick for Ramsey.
It’s not like you can blame Les Snead for accepting such a low return. A player’s value is what it is and I’m sure that L.A. would have accepted better deals if they could. The problem likely stems from Ramsey’s age and contractual demands, as well as what teams he would have been happy with, which shrinks the market...