What would a Steelers trade for Jalen Ramsey look like?

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Trade rumors are heating up just days before the NFL Combine with a few high-profile stars at the center of discussion. Whether for contractual reasons or the new direction of the team, we see excellent players being dealt to new organizations during the offseason and 2023 should be no different. The only question becomes: should the Pittsburgh Steelers throw their hat in the ring for a shot at one of them?

This offseason, the biggest name trending in trade talks is Los Angeles Rams cornerback, Jalen Ramsey. The Rams have taken a significant step back since their Super Bowl win, and it appears they may be willing to part with the All-Pro cornerback for the right price in an effort to replenish some of the draft capital they lost in numerous trades over the years.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers desperately need help at the cornerback position. Cameron Sutton is currently the only above-average starter at the position and he is an unrestricted free agent this year. Unfortunately, landing a player like Ramsey wouldn't come cheap.

What would it cost for Steelers to trade for Jalen Ramsey?

Ramsey is a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro player. Adding another superstar to Pittsburgh's defense could help put them over the top, but this would not come without a lofty price tag. Though we don't know exactly what it would cost to acquire Ramsey via trade, past trades and current projections give us a pretty good idea.

Pro Football Focus, for example, projects that it will cost a team at least two second-round picks to pull off this deal. Other outlets believe that the Rams won't part with Ramsey for less than a first and second-round pick. This means that the Steelers would probably be looking at parting with pick 17 in the 2023 NFL Draft and a future second-round pick or both of their second-round picks this year.

Of course, parting with elite draft capital is just one part of the equation to land Ramsey. The team acquiring him will also have to take on his contract. The Rams gave Ramsey a five-year, $100 million contract extension back in 2020, and he's set to have some of the most expensive years of his deal yet.

Steelers trade for Ramsey wouldn't make sense

There's no doubt that Jalen Ramsey could give Pittsburgh's defense a boost, but it doesn't make enough sense for the Steelers to make this trade. During the second half of the 2022 season, the defense already looked much better with T.J. Watt on the field, and investing a few picks or some money in free agency on this side of the ball could prove to be enough.

Where the Steelers really need help is on offense, as they managed a dismal 18.1 points per game last season. Though it's reasonable to think that the NFL's youngest offense will improve with another season together, they are lacking elite talent on the offensive line and they need more explosive play-makers.

If the Steelers were to throw their top two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft at Ramsey, it wouldn't leave enough high draft capital to invest in the offense. Additionally, trying to find the cap space for Ramsey's massive contract would force them to restructure contracts and cut back elsewhere.

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It would make much more sense for the Steelers to trade for a player still on a rookie contract rather than for one of the highest-paid defenders in the NFL. Though Ramsey is still a very good player in the prime of his career, this trade just doesn't make enough sense for Pittsburgh to pull the trigger.