No one told the Los Angeles Rams they were supposed to tank and rebuild this season. After their all-in philosophy finally caught up to the Rams last season, the team moved on from a series of veterans to clean up their cap sheet.
They traded Allen Robinson to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a mere swap of seventh-round picks. They cut Bobby Wagner, who reunited with the Seattle Seahawks.
The biggest move of them all came when Los Angeles traded Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins for a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long, who was a third-round pick himself not too long ago. It looked like a teardown in Southern California, but the Rams are making lemonade out of lemons.
Los Angeles is firmly in the mix for a wild card spot in the NFC thanks to an offense that currently ranks sixth in the NFL in EPA per play.
Only the Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions rank higher in that department. The offense has played great, but the defense could use some reinforcements.
The Rams currently rank 22nd in EPA per play allowed. That’s not surprising. Their defense is chock-full of young players, with the notable exception of Aaron Donald, a reality especially true of their secondary. Derion Kendrick and Ahkello Witherspoon comprise their starting cornerbacks.
Los Angeles could use an upgrade in that department. Fortunately, there could be a few cornerbacks available for the Rams to target before the 2023 NFL trade deadline.
The Carolina Panthers could initiate a fire sale leading up to the Halloween deadline. The Panthers have made Brian Burns, Jeremy Chinn, Terrace Marshall Jr. and Donte Jackson available for trade.
The Rams could have eyes on a bigger prize in Carolina. They offered two first-round picks and a second-round pick to Carolina for Burns around this time last year.
But Burns will have plenty of suitors and the Rams may not have the appetite to deal that type of bounty of picks again. The latest intel suggests the Panthers are likely to hang onto Burns, too. Jackson should be available for a much more affordable price.
Carolina already has multiple former first-round picks at corner in Jaycee Horn, who unfortunately is hurt at the moment, and CJ Henderson, who they previously acquired in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Panthers could also shed Jackson’s contract after this season without incurring too much of a cap hit, so it would make sense for them to gain some draft capital in the process. The Rams could use another corner more than just about any team in the NFL. A trade here would make a lot of sense for both sides.
Patrick Surtain II
The Denver Broncos could be another potential fire sale team. They’re 1-5 on the year. Sean Payton is in his first season in charge and is looking to put his imprint on the team.
They’ve already traded Randy Gregory for a late round pick swap and waived Frank Clark. Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have been the subject of many trade rumors.
Patrick Surtain II hasn’t been as hot a name on the trade market, as should be the case. He is already one of the best corners in the entire NFL. But if the Broncos are looking to start over and want to fetch a bounty of draft picks, Surtain Sshould be able to net that bounty.
Denver is ‘willing to listen to trade interest in almost any player on the defensive side,’ according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Considering the team is dead last in EPA per play allowed by a country mile, that would make sense.
Surtain, however, hasn’t been the issue. While he hasn’t played up the standards he’s already set for himself, he’s done a great job covering teams’ No. 1 receivers.
WOW! An incredible INT by @PatSurtainll!
— NFL (@NFL) October 8, 2023
Surtain’s Week 5 pick against the New York Jets covering Garrett Wilson gave the Broncos a chance to win that game. Surtain is one of the best corners in the NFL. If the Rams want to build for the future, Surtain would be a great fit, fills a position of need and could help the team now.
He’d be someone worth putting down a bounty of picks for.