Anonymous NFL Exec on Jalen Ramsey Trade: 'The Rams Way Is Just Not Sustainable'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2019

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 20: Jalen Ramsey #20 of the Los Angeles Rams looks on during the second half of a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams made a huge splash trading for Jalen Ramsey, but some around the NFL are already wondering if their all-in building style will pay dividends. 

"The Rams way is just not sustainable," an NFL front office member told Peter King of NBC Sports. "You cannot pay all those guys in a cap era."

The Rams traded two first-round picks and a fourth-rounder to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Ramsey, who is under contract through the 2020 season. While his salary for next season is a manageable $13.7 million, any extension for the Pro Bowler would likely make him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history.

Los Angeles has already inked huge long-term extensions with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Brandin Cooks that will take up a large chunk of their cap moving forward.

The Rams traded two first-round picks and a fourth-rounder to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Ramsey, who is under contract through the 2020 season. While his salary for next season is a manageable $13.7 million, any extension for the Pro Bowler would likely make him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history.

Los Angeles has already inked huge long-term extensions with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Brandin Cooks that will take up a large chunk of their cap moving forward.

King posits a theory that the Rams may have to choose between giving a long-term contract to Ramsey or Cooper Kupp, who has emerged as Goff's favorite target this season. Kupp is also under contract through 2020 and makes a $961,000 base salary next season.

Of course, that is not necessarily the case. The Rams could look to restructure a couple of the long-term deals on the books after next season in hopes of keeping their core together and retaining flexibility.

The salary cap has been on a precipitous upswing and may take another leap after the NFL negotiates new network television deals. It's possible deals signed by Goff, Donald and Cooks will look like relative bargains by the 2021 season.

Regardless, the Rams are bound to be a more top-heavy team in the immediate future. Even if they choose to allow Ramsey or Kupp to walk in free agency, they traded three cost-controlled assets for Ramsey. Losing those first-round picks in particular makes it more difficult to find and groom replacements for the guys they'll need to let go to retain all their stars.

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