Fans of the Los Angeles Rams, if they began following the team in 2017, experienced missing the playoffs for the first time under Sean McVay in 2019. Going 9-7 in a down season is a positive for the fans that have been cheering for the franchise since the dark days of Jeff Fisher.
After a disappointing campaign in 2019, the Rams have their work cut out for them to return to the postseason. First and foremost, Los Angeles needs to find ways to create cap space in the offseason. Ahead of free agency, the Rams are going to have around $23.2 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.
Some media members and fans alike have murmured that Todd Gurley could be on his way out. However, it’s tough to believe that the Rams are willing to give up on the All-Pro running back already.
On the other hand, there are a few marquee players that Los Angeles could shop to the other 31 teams in the NFL. With that being said, here are three players the Rams could trade this offseason.
3. Brandin Cooks
Prior to the 2018 season, the Rams landed Brandin Cooks in a trade with the New England Patriots. Upon acquiring Cooks, Los Angeles signed the big-play wideout to a five-year, $81 million extension.
Nearly two years after the extension occurred, it’s safe to say the Rams regret shelling out that much money for Cooks. This season, Cooks suffered another concussion and had the least productive season of his NFL career.
Due to his injury history and current contract, the Rams could attempt to move the former first-round pick. However, it’s going to be tough to find a team that is willing to consume the $52 million in cap hits in the final three years of his contract.
2. Tyler Higbee
In recent years, Les Snead has shown a tendency to extend players as soon as he possibly can. Among the players he’s used that tactic with, Tyler Higbee is one of the latest.
Just a few days before the regular season began in 2019, Los Angeles handed Higbee a four-year, $29 million extension. Following a slow start to the season, Higbee proved why he was paid as he hauled in a career-high 69 passes for 734 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite his production, the Rams also have Gerald Everett on the roster. If the team believes Everett is the tight end for the future, then trading Higbee to create $6.2 million in cap space could become a possibility.
1. Rob Havenstein
Besides signing Cooks to an extension in 2018, the Rams also gave a four-year extension to Rob Havenstein. The second-round pick out of Wisconsin was given a deal that was worth $32.5 million.
Throughout the 2019 season, the struggles of the Rams offensive line was well-documented. One of the reasons why Los Angeles saw a huge drop-off along the offensive line was the underwhelming play from Havenstein.
With three years remaining on Havenstein’s contract, the Rams could sever ties with him to free up $5.4 million. Given the current state of the Rams offensive line, trading Havenstein would be a no-brainer if they can find a suitor.