NFL Rumors: Rams In Discussions Regarding Trade Of Todd Gurley & Brandin Cooks
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the NFL free agency period has not been kind to the Los Angeles Rams as they have lost four key pieces to their defense in Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler Jr., Michael Brockers and Nickell Robey-Coleman.

While they were able to find a couple of replacements on value contracts, the main reason they were not able to retain any of their own is because of the monster extensions they handed out in the last couple of years to players like Jared Goff, Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks.

It is not surprising that the Rams are having some buyers remorse as Goff, Gurley and Cooks all did not perform up to their normal standards in 2019, leading to L.A. finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs a year after going to the Super Bowl.

The Rams are now trying to free up some cap space, and the best way to do that is to trade one or two of their high-priced players. As of now, the main player they are shopping is Gurley, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:

A large portion of Gurley’s 2020 salary becomes guaranteed if he is still on the roster on Friday, so if he is going to be dealt, it will likely come before then.

In addition to Gurley, the Rams are also searching for a trade partner for Cooks, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic:

Gurley and Cooks are both coming off injury-plagued seasons, making it hard for the Rams to get the value they are looking for in trade talks.

While Gurley still has four years left on his contract with cap hits between $12 million and $17 million each year, Cooks’ contract may be even worse as he also has four years remaining with annual cap hits between $16 million and $18 million.

If the Rams can get a team to take on the entirety of either contract, they likely would not get much in return as far as draft compensation goes. It would free up some cap space though while giving Gurley or Cooks, or both, a chance for a fresh start with a new team.

Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson would be the primary candidates to replace Gurley if he is traded, while Josh Reynolds is ready to step in behind Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp is Cooks is dealt.