In the last few weeks, the Los Angeles Rams have been one of the most active teams in the league making a few notable moves in the trade market. This has seen the front office follow through with transactions that have impacted the team’s roster on the defensive side of the ball.
Following the decision to place the franchise tag on safety Lamarcus Joyner earlier this week, it has shifted the team’s plan of action. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Los Angeles has agreed to a trade that moves veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree and a 2019 seventh-round pick for a pair of selections in this year’s draft.
Compensation update: Giants are trading their fourth-round pick and their sixth-round pick in return for LB Alec Ogletree and the Rams' 2019 seventh-round pick, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2018
Since being selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Ogletree has been one of the most dependable and productive defensive players for the Rams. He has stepped into a larger role over the last two seasons transitioning from outside linebacker to middle linebacker following the departure of James Laurinaitis. He has notched at least 95 tackles four times while topping 100 tackles three times.
Ogletree’s absence leaves a significant void in the linebacker core as he has been not only a pillar in the front seven but also one of their vocal leaders on that side of the ball. His performance on the field helped him garner a lucrative four-year, $42.7 million extension last October that included $30 million guaranteed.
The decision to part ways with Ogletree is likely solely to free up additional salary cap space with $5.2 million more to help their efforts in re-signing both of their key free agents in cornerback Trumaine Johnson and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. This also makes it clear that the Rams are moving toward keeping their free agents under contract while it signals that linebacker Mark Barron will likely remain on the roster.
With the start of the free agency period just under a week away, the Rams will likely use this window of time to work out new deals for both Watkins and Johnson.