Cap Room or Draft Picks?: Rams Must Choose Ahead of Jalen Ramsey Trade
The finances of a potential Jalen Ramsey trade could make the Los Angeles Rams choose between draft picks or more cap flexibility.
The rebuild is underway for the Los Angeles Rams, or so it seems. The Rams made their first move on Thursday, mutually parting ways with inside linebacker Bobby Wagner after just one season together.
By releasing Wagner, the Rams are projected to save $5 million using OverThe Cap but will also eat $7.5 million in dead money. But despite the release of Wagner, Los Angeles is still $9.8 million over the new salary cap for the 2023 season, which seems to be a factor in their decision to trade away cornerback Jalen Ramsey potentially.
A report by NFL Network in the week suggested the Rams were “very likely” to move the 29-year-old cornerback, furthering their efforts to clear cap room in a rebuilding effort. But the financial side of things could further complicate the timeline for a Ramsey trade.
Once again, using the projection by OverTheCap, any trade involving Ramsey before June 1st would result in the Rams saving $5.6 million while adding $19.6 million in dead money. That $5.6 million in savings wouldn’t even get the Rams under the new salary cap, leaving over $4 million to clear.
While a trade made after June 1st nets the Rams $17 million in savings, with just $8.2 million turning into dead money.
These differences seem to create a bind, any trade made before the NFL Draft could give the Rams some much-needed immediate draft capital, but it would be at the expense of the salary cap. On the other hand, a post-June 1st deal would rather free up more money, getting the team back under the cap, but it would mean any acquired picks couldn’t be used immediately.
The Rams’ patience will be tested as they try to find a deal that will send Ramsey away.
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