Three Dark Horse Trade Destinations For Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey
Jalen Ramsey / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Earlier this offseason there were lots of theories thrown around in regards to how the Los Angeles Rams might try to manage their cap situation, what with all the high-priced contracts on the books after their Super Bowl win last year. One possibility was trading Jalen Ramsey, entering the third year of his five-year, $100 million deal. Trading Ramsey before June 1 would save the Rams $5 million and get them off the hook for the final few years of his deal. It makes some sense if Los Angeles would prefer to allocate those financial resources elsewhere, even if Ramsey is an All-Pro, and on Friday reports emerged suggesting it may actually happen.

Back in January we broke down some potential trade destinations for Ramsey. Those quallify as the obvious names, teams with clear motive and opportunity to pull off a transaction. Here, we will examine the dark horses-- the teams that will emerge suddenly out of the night willing to meet the Rams' prive (or even overpay) in order to land an elite cornerback.

Let's break down the possibilities.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are a wild card as long as Lamar Jackson remains unsigned. If the team decides Jackson is not worth it and trades him for a king's ransom, their $25 million in cap space will be free to use elsewhere. Baltimore has long been a defense-first team, so trading for Ramsey makes sense. They are familiar with L.A.'s front office, taking Marcus Peters off their hands in order to facilitate the Ramsey trade back in 2019. Coincidentally, Peters is a free agent this offseason and the Ravens don't have a ready in-house replacement to step in across Marlon Humphrey. They don't have a plethora of draft capital to offer so they could get outbid, but if the Jackson thing doesn't go as they hope then loading up on defense via a Ramsey trade feels like a realistic path.

New England Patriots

The Patriots are top-5 in the league in cap space heading into free agency and got real thin at cornerback in the last few games of the year. Jonathon Jones was their best corner all season long and is a free agent. Rookie standout Jack Jones got suspended near the end of the season after hitting the IR so it's anybody's guess what happens there. Jalen Mills has been fine but feels likely to be a cap casualty. Why wouldn't Bill Belichick look into Ramsey? He is not a fan of paying corners big money but Ramsey is good enough to justify his salary. New England doesn't have a lot of high-end capital for the upcoming draft but have a handful of picks in the middle rounds to help sweeten any potential deal. Any hopes the Patriots have of returning to the postseason rest on the defense before the offense and it would not be that surprising to see Belichick double down on the unit.

Philadelphia Eagles

Howie Roseman has a ton of work to do this offseason and will have to get creative if he wants to pay Jalen Hurts top QB money while retaining some of the many free agents from last year's Super Bowl squad. The fact that the Eagles have to do all that with merely $5 million in cap space as things stand make the task even taller and should, in theory, eliminate them from any big-salary transactions like a Ramsey trade. But we are also all aware that Roseman is a wild man who is not afraid to pull off big, creative moves that can change the complexion of his whole team. The primary reason to believe the Eagles might get involved is that they hold the No. 10 overall pick in the draft, which the Rams would gladly accept in exchange for Ramsey. Philly is unlikely to get anybody better than Ramsey with that pick and he plays a premium position. This is far from a sure thing and how free agency unfolds will tell us a lot about the Eagles' plans this offseason, but don't rule them out.