Say what you will about the Los Angeles Rams, but they definitely swing for the fences. On Monday they shocked the NFL by swinging a trade for seven-time All-Pro defensive end Von Miller. In the process, the Rams gave up two more high draft picks, a pattern that has repeated itself over the years. This latest move proved again that the franchise is constantly in win-now mode, regardless of the long-term consequences.
As our own Liam McKeone pointed out, the Rams haven't made a first-round selection since 2016 when they drafted Jared Goff. They won't have another first-round pick until 2024. They gave up two first-rounders in the trade for Jalen Ramsey, and two more to acquire Matt Stafford from the Lions this offseason. They've also given away a whole host of other picks, leaving them with limited options to improve their roster in the future.
LA is 7-1 right now and the team hasn't even really hit its stride. In the short-term, the strategy seems to be working. The Rams have made the playoffs in three of the past four seasons -- including two NFC West titles and a Super Bowl appearance -- and went 9-7 and just missed the postseason in 2019.
Rams general manager Les Snead is threading a treacherous needle here. He's adding expensive veterans while surrendering the chance to add cheap young talent through the draft. It feels short-sighted. Even the franchise's social media team is in on it:
So how long can the Rams actually be "all-in" before they go bust? They have no cap space and should be up against the limit in 2022. They won't pick until the fifth-round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and only own two seventh-rounders after that. In 2023 they have surrendered their first- and fourth-round picks. That's a heck of a lot of potential talent they have given up.
While adding Von Miller to a defense that already features Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey is going to be really fun, the long-term consequences could be serious. The franchise faces a harsh reality in the not-too-distant future.
The Rams have mortgaged a lot to win now, so they had better do so, because anything less than a Super Bowl title would be a severe disappointment.