Potential Trade Destinations for Jalen Ramsey | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports NFL Writers Charles McDonald and Jori Epstein talk about the Los Angeles Rams decision to release LB Bobby Wagner amid their ‘roster remodeling,’ and discuss potential trade destinations for CB Jalen Ramsey.

Video transcript

CHARLES MCDONALD: The Rams' bill is coming due. Bobby Wagner was released by the Rams after one season. He signed, like, a five year $50 million deal. I'm not sure how much of that was actually real money.

And it seems like Jalen Ramsey is about to be traded over the next couple of weeks, according to Tom Pelissero with NFL Network. I think that-- I think we shouldn't be surprised at this point in time has come. But I am a little surprised that they didn't give it, like, one more run with the-- the Ramsey, Donald, Stafford, Kupp core, just because there were so many injuries last year, it was going to be hard to try and recreate the Super Bowl run regardless.

But man, it just kind of feels like they quit on this a little bit early. Jori, what are your thoughts on where the Rams are right now? And you know, I'm kind of happy to hit the reset button a little bit on their salary cap.

JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah, it's s good question going back to, like, some great articles that have come out in the week. Jourdan Rodrigue, who covers the Rams for "The Athletic" did kind of a deep dive into the Rams last season, why it collapsed in the way it did, how Sean McVay felt throughout that and Sean McVay talking about how he knows he's, like, a thermostat. His positive energy seeps into the organization, but so, too, does his negative energy.

And in that article, the Rams describe themselves as not rebuilding, but remodeling. But I think that actions speak louder than words. And like you said, if you're getting rid of Bobby Wagner already, particularly when he was one of the few stabilizing forces and both in terms of his play, and his leadership, and his attitude on the field last year, I think it sends a sign Jalen Ramsey similarly.

Like, if you're Aaron Donald and you were deciding whether to come back, like, did you know that Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey might not be there? And if so, like, when was that communicated to you? I think that-- I do think that something was going to have to give with the way the Rams built their roster. That was always going to be the case. And maybe if you're Bobby Wagner, you say, like, hey, if they know they're remodeling, I know I'm at the end of my career, I think I can bring that leadership to a team that's a lot closer to contending.

CHARLES MCDONALD: What do you think would be an interesting team for Jalen Ramsey to end up traded to? I've seen people say that the Lions would be a fun-- a fun destination because they have two first round picks. But if the Rams ask for six, I'm not sure if I'll be willing to give that back to them.

JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah, that's a good question. I was hearing that, like, the Bengals were someone that people had thought would be interested. And obviously, a team like that-- I don't know if their cap space or resources and draft and all that looks like, but they definitely have a team that's close enough that if you get that last piece--

CHARLES MCDONALD: They have the cap space for it.


CHARLES MCDONALD: They do have the cap space for it.

JORI EPSTEIN: And they've got the defensive coordinator who will absolutely-- like, how fun would that be in Landry's defense? Like, he knows how to scheme players. So that would definitely interest me. I'm trying to think. I mean, where are--


JORI EPSTEIN: What about the Vikings?

CHARLES MCDONALD: Oh, the Vikings. That's a good one too. I think that'd be a great fit, Brian Flores. They need a-- they need someone who can play some man coverage. I don't know if Patrick Peterson is really still a great fit for that particular defense. But I mean, that would be fun too.

JORI EPSTEIN: I couldn't remember when you got to renegotiate Justin Jefferson's contract. But the quicker you can start maximizing on his rookie window, the better.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. And you're looking at a team that-- they already have some star talent. So I mean, just adding to the top heaviness of that roster might work out. But I think even they're a little cash strapped. They'd have to make some moves to get underneath the cap before they can make that trade. I think you-- you know what team, like, might be able to figure it out and finagle it?


CHARLES MCDONALD: The Eagles. The Eagles.

JORI EPSTEIN: Ooh. That's if they lose some guys, right? Because don't they have Bradberry and CJ Gardner-Johnson both headed to the market?

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. And they have the 10th pick in the draft that they could trade to the Rams in exchange for Ramsey too.

JORI EPSTEIN: But you just said claim 10th pick for Jalen Ramsey. Would you-- or both sides, would you do that?

CHARLES MCDONALD: No. If I was the Rams. I'd want a little bit more, maybe, like, a third or fourth round pick. I don't know if he can get two ones again like they did when they traded for Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars. But like, if I can get a first and a third or first and a second, I think I might pull the trigger on that because there's also, like--

From a negotiation standpoint aspect of it, it's like, these teams are-- the teams know that the Rams are a little desperate to get underneath the cap. So I might not be as willing to throw away two first round picks if I can just say, hey, you don't really have a choice in the matter, so give me the all-pro.

JORI EPSTEIN: And the Eagles got to save room on their cap for Jalen's contract, although in theory, you could push that off down the road in terms of cap hit.