The Los Angeles Rams fought their way to a Super Bowl LVI title in 2021 by throwing caution to the wind and trading multiple draft picks for big-money stars like Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller and others. Now, the bill appears to have expired in Southern California in favor of the South Florida team, the Miami Dolphins. The ‘Fins acquire three-time first-team All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Rams in exchange for the 77th pick in the 2023 draft (a third-round selection), as well as 24-year-old tight end Hunter Long .
This blockbuster pairing has just come off the grill, but there is now enough information to assess some commercial qualities.
Acquiring a 28-year-old superstar who is one of only seven players in the entire league to have appeared in each of the past six Pro Bowls is a significant victory. Ramsey was the third-highest-ranked cornerback in Pro Football Focus last season with an 86.4 rating, behind only 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie Year of the Year and New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (87.9) as well as Denver Broncos 2022 First-Team All- Pro cornerback Pat Surtain II (86.8).
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To be able to bounce back from the failed move that was cornerback Byron Jones’ five-year, $82.5 million deal to add Ramsey to a secondary with Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard and their promising 23-year-old safety Jevon Holland gives Miami one of the best defensive backfields in the entire NFL. It’s a big deal because the Dolphins will face Josh Allen’s Bills twice, Mac Jones with a real offensive coordinator twice, and potentially Aaron Rodgers’ New York Jets twice. Kudos to general manager Chris Grier for maximizing the salary cap window provided by having starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on his rookie contract for two more seasons as he added All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the passer of Pro Bowl assists Bradley Chubb and Ramsey via trade in the past 365 days. The cap may not look as pretty after the 2024 season, but as Grier observed from the Rams, that’s tomorrow’s problem.
For Los Angeles, the bill for their Super Bowl LVI run is now due, and they are paying. On Friday, general manager Les Snead called quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald “pillarsRamsey was conspicuously absent from that statement, indicating he was up for grabs. After a 5-12 finish in 2022, the worst record in NFL history for a defending Super Bowl champion, Snead correctly realized that their lack of depth brutalized any hope of staying afloat after injuries to all three of the team’s stalwarts last season.
So he’s now making amends to ensure the Rams are a deeper team in 2023 with the pickup of an additional third-round pick plus 24-year-old tight end Hunter Long. He’s a good replacement for Tyler Higbee, but the draft pick is the real prize here since the Rams’ sixth draft pick belongs to the Detroit Lions in April due to the Stafford trade. Thanks to the deal, Los Angeles now has three picks in the first three rounds of the draft, but they are a second-round pick and two-thirds. Snead can expect to make a first-round pick for the first time since taking No. 1 Jared Goff in 2016 in the 2024 NFL Draft. It would have been nice to have at least a second-round pick. in the deal for a player of Ramsey’s caliber, but the Rams aren’t in a position to have leverage this offseason.