Jalen Ramsey Contract: Which Teams Can Trade for the Rams’ Superstar CB?
The Los Angeles Rams went all-in on the 2021 season and won a Super Bowl because of it. Now, the team is paying for moves. Sean McVay and company went 5-12 in 2022 and don’t currently have a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, thanks to the Matthew Stafford trade. This means the Rams need to shift into rebuild mode, and one way to do that is with a Jalen Ramsey trade. The outspoken superstar cornerback didn’t enjoy all the losing last season and is ready to get out of LA. With this on the horizon, we’ll look at the Jalen Ramsey contract and who should take it on.
The Jalen Ramsey contract
The Jalen Ramsey contract is a big one. It is the second-biggest cornerback deal in the NFL in 2023 in terms of cap hit and the third-biggest in terms of annual average value (AAV).
In 2019, the Rams sent two first-round picks (2020 and 2021) to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Ramsey. When the CB got to LA, he signed a five-year, $100,000,000 contract with a $25,000,000 signing bonus, $71,200,000 guaranteed, and an AAV of $20,000,000 per season.
Last season, Ramsey earned $15,000,000 in base salary, $5,000,000 in prorated signing bonus, and $3,200,000 from a 2021 offseason restructuring. That led to a $23,200,000 cap hit and $47,800,000 in dead cap.
In 2023, the offseason trade candidate will earn a base salary of $17,000,000 with a cap hit of $25,200,000 and a dead cap value of $32,100,000.
A Jalen Ramsey trade before June 1 (which is ideal so the Rams can get 2023 draft picks) will leave behind just $19.6 million in dead cap, though, per Spotrac, saving the Rams $5.6 million against the cap in 2023.
The team that gets the CB in a trade will then essentially have a one-year, $17 million Jalen Ramsey contract on its hands. He will still be under contract for two more seasons at $18.5 million and $19.5 million, but with no dead cap if the team decides to cut him.
So, with that as the current Jalen Ramsey contract situation, where are the best Jalen Ramsey trade destinations?
Best Jalen Ramsey trade destinations
Despite struggling at times in 2023, Jalen Ramsey is still one of the best cover corners in the game at 28 years old. That said, he has now shown he will only be happy on a winner, and a $17 million CB is a luxury only for teams going all-in on a Super Bowl.
That narrows down the scope of a Jalen Ramsey trade to just a few teams.
There are several teams on the borderline of the playoffs that could get Ramsey in the door, and his presence could help take the franchise to the next level. The Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, and New England Patriots fit this bill.
All these teams are right on the playoff borderline, and all are also in the top 10 of cap room heading into the 2023 NFL season.
However, if Ramsey wants to truly challenge for a Super Bowl, he has two real options.
The first is the Las Vegas Raiders if they trade for Aaron Rodgers. That trade may make the draft pick compensation piece hard, but if the Raiders can pull it off, they’ll have an All-Star team on both sides of the ball with a one- to two-year window to win it all.
The other option — and likely the best option — is the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Burrow and company are No. 7 in cap room, and, as they’ve shown the last two seasons, they are one of the best four teams in the league.
The Bengals’ cap space won’t last forever, as extending Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase will happen soon. But for now, bringing in the Jalen Ramsey contract for 2023 could make them the Super Bowl favorites next season.