The Rams, in a major move to rebound from a disastrous 2022 season and to build draft capital, have agreed to trade star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins, a person with knowledge of the situation said Sunday.
The person requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about a transaction that will not become official until the start of the NFL’s new league year on Wednesday.
In exchange for Ramsey, the Rams acquire tight end Hunter Long and third-round pick in the upcoming draft. The Rams now have 11 picks in the draft, though they have not had a first-round pick since 2016, when they traded up a record 14 spots to select quarterback Jared Goff with the first pick.
The trade did not come as a surprise to Ramsey, the fifth player selected in the 2016 draft. After the season, he hinted several times on social media that he was aware he might be dealt.
“I prayed for this specifically for about a month & now it’s happening!,” Ramsey tweeted. “@MiamiDolphins LETSGO!”
Ramsey was acquired by the Rams near midseason in 2019 in a trade that sent two first-round picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The three-time All-Pro was a cornerstone for a Rams team that won Super Bowl LVI to end the 2021 season.
In 2020, Ramsey signed a five-year, $100-million extension that included $71.2 million in guarantees, at the time the largest contract for a defensive back in NFL history.
Ramsey, 28, is scheduled to carry a salary-cap number of $25.2 million in the upcoming season, according to overthecap.com.
The cap for the 2023 season is $224.8 million. As of Feb. 21, the Rams were about $15 million over the cap, according to overthecap.com.
Trading Ramsey is the Rams’ third move involving a star player since they finished 5-12, the worst season-after performance by a Super Bowl champion in NFL history.
On Feb. 23, the Rams and linebacker Bobby Wagner agreed to part ways after one season. Last week, the Rams released edge rusher Leonard Floyd.
In three-plus seasons with the Rams, Ramsey intercepted 10 passes, including two in last season’s finale against the Seattle Seahawks. He also made several victory-clinching plays.
In 2020, under then defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, Ramsey’s role in the Rams expanded beyond shutdown cornerback. He played on the outside and inside, and he also lined up as a safety, hybrid linebacker and pass rusher.
Raheem Morris, who replaced Staley, continued to utilize Ramsey at multiple positions.
Ramsey’s departure leaves the Rams with a huge void in the secondary. Cornerbacks Troy Hill and David Long Jr. and safeties Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott are pending free agents.