Setting Record Straight Concerning Jalen Ramsey’s Contract As Part Of Potential Trade

It’s now the silly season portion of the offseason and already there are a lot of silly things floating around on social media when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. One of those several silly things is related to Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and the Steelers potentially trading him for this offseason. Normally, I let most of the silly stuff like this fly right on by me, but because I have actually received some questions about Ramsey due to this misinformation floating on social media, I figured today was as good of a day as any to address it in a post.

For starters, and as you will see on Over the Cap, Ramsey is currently under contract with the Rams through the 2025 season. As part of that contract, Ramsey is scheduled to earn a base salary of $17 million in 2023. Additionally, $5 million of that $17 million is also guaranteed due to him being on the Rams’ roster on the 5th day of the 2022 league year, which was last March.

Now, according to the contract details on OTC, another $7.5 million of that $17 million will also become fully guaranteed on the 5th day of the 2023 league year, which is March 22.

So, what happens if the Rams were to trade Ramsey before June 1? For starters, they would incur a dead money charge in 2023 of $19.6 million as that’s a total of his outstanding bonus proration for years 2023-2025.

With Ramsey currently scheduled to count $25.2 million against the Rams’ salary cap in 2023, the team would actually clear $5.6 million in space by trading him. The only way that amount would change is if they were forced to eat any of that $17 million that Ramsey is due in base salary in 2023 as part of trade parameters made with another team. Good luck getting them to do that.

So, let’s say that the Steelers did indeed trade for Ramsey and they couldn’t get the Rams to eat any of his $17 million base salary as part of such a deal. Well, the Steelers then would inherit that full $17 million base salary against their own 2023 cap number. See the first big problem here?

By now, you are probably thinking to yourself out loud, well, couldn’t the Steelers work Ramsey’s 2023 cap number down after trading for him? Sure, they could, but first, they would need to be able to accommodate that full $17 million in their own cap number before restructuring the deal. Second, a full restructure of Ramsey’s 2023 money, assuming no dummy void years were added, would only free up $10,556,666.67 in 2023 salary cap space and thus drop his cap charge down to $6,443,333.33. In doing that, it would create prorated bonus cap charges of $5,278,333.33 in 2024 and 2025. Ramsey’s cap charges for 2024 and 2025 would then become $23,778,333.33 and $24,778,333.33, respectively.

Could all of this technically be done on the Steelers’ end to accommodate the acquiring of Ramsey via a trade, $17 million base salary in 2023 and all? The short answer to such a question is, yes. That said, it would take a huge effort on the Steelers’ part to do that and one so huge that odds are highly against them doing so.

We haven’t even discussed what such a trade would look like on the Steelers’ end when it comes to compensation and that could be an even longer post and one that I’m not willing to attempt to address, to be totally honest.

So, now that you all have been presented the facts when it comes to Ramsey’s contract, I will leave it to each of you to ponder how realistic the notion of the Steelers trading for him actually is. While stranger things have certainly happened before, I would be quite shocked if he landed in Pittsburgh this offseason via a deal with the Rams.

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