NFL Beast

The Best Damn NFL News Site Ever!

Another sign that Rams made right decision to trade Jalen Ramsey

3 min read

#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs

#LosAngeles #Rams #LosAngelesRams #NFC

By: Kenneth Arthur

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins cap nightmare could cost them Christian Wilkins so they can pay Jalen Ramsey

When the Los Angeles Rams traded Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins, it wasn’t because of situation or poor fit or because the Rams had gone 5-12. It was because Ramsey wanted more guaranteed money. L.A. could have found a way to make him happy but only at the cost of other players and the overall health of the roster and a year later it is so clear by the cap situations of the Rams and Dolphins that GM Les Snead did the right thing to send Ramsey to Miami for a third round pick and tight end Hunter Long.

Acquiring Ramsey looks like it’s going to cost the Dolphins arguably their best player on defense: Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is expected to hit free agency because Miami doesn’t have enough cap space to give him the franchise tag.

The 28-year-old Wilkins had a career-high nine sacks in 2023, to go along with 23 quarterback hits from the interior of the defensive line. The 13th overall pick in 2019, Wilkins is expected to get a contract in the range of $23 million per season if he hits free agency and the deadline to tag players is Tuesday. If untagged, Wilkins will be free to sign with another team on March 13th.

When the Dolphins acquired Ramsey, they were essentially forced to guarantee his 2023 and 2024 salaries and he has an $11 million roster bonus coming to him. That’s $25.5 million guaranteed in 2024 for a 30-year-old cornerback who suffered a serious knee injury last year. Ramsey was able to return and play in 10 games, recording three interceptions and making the Pro Bowl but he was the second-oldest player on Miami’s defense last year behind Xavien Howard. The team had to release Howard for cap purposes.

Right now, the Dolphins are projected to be $31.7 million over the 2024 salary cap, meaning that they still have a lot of work to do just to get compliant.

Conversely, the Rams enter free agency with over $40 million in cap space and they basically had just as good of a 2023 season as the Dolphins. Miami won one more game but had a much worse wild card showing than L.A. did. The Dolphins had a high-scoring offense but efforts to create a top-ranked defense with coordinator Vic Fangio and acquisitions such as Ramsey fell well short of expectations. Now Fangio is gone, Howard is gone, and Wilkins seems like the next to go.

Would the Rams be interested in Christian Wilkins? They kind of don’t have a real place for him since L.A.’s selection of Kobie Turner has worked out so well next to Aaron Donald.

I think I know who won the trade.