Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Yesterday the Los Angeles Rams made a surprising trade by sending veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for a fourth and sixth-round draft picks. The move was made several days after the Rams traded away their other veteran linebacker Robert Quinn, to the Miami Dolphins for draft picks.
Executing these trades, the Rams recoups a third, fourth, and sixth round picks they already traded away to acquire Marcus Peters, Derrick Carrier, and Quinn. In addition, the Rams swapped a 2018 sixth round (Peters from KC Chiefs) and traded away a seventh rounder for the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Rams front office has been busy this off-season, as on Tuesday, electing to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on safety Lamarcus Joyner. Last week, sources announced that the Rams were trading or releasing receiver Tavon Austin on March 14th. Releasing Austin, will save the Rams an additional $3 million against the cap and may be looking to do more shuffling at linebacker Mark Barron name has been thrown into the mix.
Player Respond Via Tweets
Ram players were obviously taken by surprise of the trade, took to Twitter with their responses. Running-Back Todd Gurley II would tweet out two red angry faces. Pending free agent cornerback, Trumaine Johnson, also took to Twitter by responding, "SMH! THIS IS CRAZY."
The Rams have stated all off-season that they had a plan that may work out to keep both Joyner and Johnson with the Rams. Right away they have released two veterans and soon the third with Austin, that will give them numbers to work out deals for Johnson, and hopefully retaining receiver Sammy Watkins.
Alec Ogletree Response To Trade
Ogletree had a response to Todd Gurley's tweet, by interpretation of his tweet, that he understood that it was a business decision, and remained humbled by the trade. It was reported yesterday via NFL.Com that Ogletree was offered to Kansas City in the Peters deal, but the Chiefs were not interested.RSS Feed
According to P.F.F. (Pro Football Focus), Ogletree was ranked 830th out of 856 defensive players grade last season. The pretty much led up to the trade, as defensive Wade Phillips was convinced that Ogletree was not a fit for the 3-4 defense. Ogletree missed a few key tackles last season that resulted in Rams losses last season. None missed tackle bigger than the one he missed against the Atlanta Falcons, in the 2017 NFC Wild Card on a fourth and short, that could have given the Rams the ball with great field position.
The Rams defense had huge holes as teams were able to identify and expose Quinn and Ogletree's inexperience from game film. It started in week one against the Washington Redskins, who shredded the Rams run defense. The Redskins rushed for over 200 yards against the Rams that week, and the defense was being questioned early.
By trading Ogletree, the Rams were able to save $8 million dollars to the salary cap. Many were surprised by the trade because Ogletree had just signed a four-year $42.75 million deal last season. Ogletree will definitely be missed by many fans that have gravitated to his play and Quinn. It wasn't that the two were bad players, it just they didn't fit the defensive scheme, as they were great in a 4-3 defense.
Rams head coach Sean McVay, and general manager Les Snead, have a recipe for success, as they move are being executed. Expect the Rams to go heavy with defense with the 2018 NFL Draft, as they have numerous sixth-round selections. But, don't hold your breath if you think the rest of the players are safe, anything can happen unexpectedly.