What could it potentially cost the Carolina Panthers if they decided to pursue cornerback Jalen Ramsey via trade?
The Carolina Panthers have invested a significant amount of draft capital and financial resources in their cornerback options over recent years. Aside from Jaycee Horn’s encouraging progress in 2022, it’s been relatively disappointing from others on the depth chart.
Keith Taylor Jr. and C.J. Henderson both struggled to put any consistency together last season. Donte Jackson flashes, but the former second-round selection faces a long road back to full fitness after tearing his Achilles.
Carolina cannot afford to be left short across their secondary. This bears more significance when one considers new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero’s preference for nickel packages often within his creative 3-4 base scheme.
Carolina Panthers would be paying a steep price for Jalen Ramsey
Additional reinforcements are almost guaranteed. Going down the college route is the cheapest option, but if the Panthers want to be a little bolder, then examining the prospect of acquiring Jalen Ramsey via trade from the Los Angeles Rams certainly falls into this particular category.
Ramsey looks set to be traded in the coming days as the Rams look to dump his contract, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. There should be a queue of suitors for the All-Pro, who remains one of the best man-cover cornerbacks in the business after another standout campaign last time around.
The benefits of getting a legitimate shutdown corner to pair with Horn are there for all to see. However, the potential cost could be steep from a compensation and money standpoint.
If multiple teams are interested, the Rams could instigate a bidding war for Ramsey. This would involve a potential Day 2 selection and more to get any deal over the line.
Should a contending team decide this is the player that can get them over the hump, then a late first-rounder is not entirely out of the question. This is a price seemingly too rich for Carolina’s blood given their needs elsewhere.
Then, there is the contractual aspect to consider. Ramsey has no guaranteed money on his deal after the 2023 deal and upon securing a trade, the one-time Florida State stud would likely seek a new deal with more long-term security.
This was recently discussed by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who examined the previous contract dispute between Ramsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars as a reason why the Rams are looking to move on.
"That seems to be the real reason why the Rams are trading him. It’s not because his skills have diminished, even if they have a bit. It’s not because his current deal has a bunch of phony-baloney, expensive, back-end balloon payments. It’s because Ramsey wants more, and that the Rams are trying to accommodate him before things get as ugly as they did when he wanted out of Jacksonville."
Given how tight finances are in Carolina currently and the need to extend players such as D’Onta Foreman, Bradley Bozeman, Brian Burns, and perhaps even Jeremy Chinn, trading for Ramsey and handing him more guaranteed cash is a risk. One that those in power might not see as feasible no matter how much it could enhance things on the field.
Only time will tell, obviously. But the Panthers must be willing to give Ramsey the going rate in the event there is real interest in bringing him into the fold.