The Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens sent shockwaves throughout the NFL last week when both teams traded for a pair of Pro Bowl cornerbacks. The Rams got it started by trading away Marcus Peters before subsequently trading for Jalen Ramsey.
Jalen Ramsey to the Rams
Two things were evident through the first six weeks of the NFL season: the Rams weren’t going to re-sign Marcus Peters in the offseason, and Jalen Ramsey wasn’t happy with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After losing a third consecutive game in the Week 6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and eyes still set on a return to the Super Bowl, general manager Les Snead and the Rams front office needed to make a move to give the team a spark.
The Rams didn’t have a particular need at cornerback, but two years into the Marcus Peters experiment, it became more and more evident that the two sides weren’t a perfect match. Therefore, to open up cap space, the Rams traded Peters to the Ravens for a fifth-round pick and depth linebacker. That created space to trade two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick for Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
After being uncertain if he would play, Ramsey did not start, but came off the sideline and provided a boost in what was a 37-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
“To be able to come in on such short notice, with such short practice time and to be able to play the way that he did, it was a big boost to our team for sure,” Rams coach Sean McVay said.
Locked on wide receiver Julio Jones for most of the afternoon, Ramsey contained him to four catches while helping Aaron Donald and the rest of the Rams defense hold the Falcons to just 10 points. In fact, with Ramsey providing a boost to the secondary, quarterback Matt Ryan was held to under 300 yards for the first time this season, and it was Matt Schaub who threw the team’s lone touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.
Ramsey’s effect wasn’t just felt on Jones. In the second quarter with the Rams leading, 10-3, Ramsey went in for a tackle on running back Brian Hill and forced a fumble that was turned into three points.
“I feel like I played OK,” said Ramsey. “I got to get in my groove a little bit more, it’s just maybe one, maybe two plays that I wanted to have back or play a little bit different, but I thought it was good.”
The boost on defense also allowed the Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and the Rams offensive attack to play with a comfortable lead throughout the game. The Rams will look to get Ramsey more comfortable in the coming weeks when they travel to London to play the Cincinnati Bengals before going on their bye week.
Marcus Peters to the Ravens
It didn’t take long for Ravens fans to start thanking general manager Eric DeCosta for trading for Peters. Trailing 10-6 in the first quarter, Peters intercepted Russell Wilson and returned it the other way for six points. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense went on to score 17 of the next 23 points of the game in a 30-16 win over the Seahawks.
“I’m just here to do my part,” said Peters. “My part is to do whatever it is they tell me to do. If it’s to go run into a wall, I’ll go run into a wall. I’m not here to complain about anything. I’ll just keep doing my job and moving forward.”
Peters’ 67-yard interception return for a touchdown marked the fifth of his career, which is tied for the third-most by a player in his first five seasons in the NFL. He’s the first player in NFL history to record an interception return for a touchdown for two different teams in a single season.
The trade has seemingly paid off for the Ravens. The Ravens secondary ranked 25th in the NFL, and in Week 7, they held an early NFL MVP candidate in Russell Wilson to his fewest yards passing so far in October.
The pieces that DeCosta used to bring in Peters included a depth linebacker in Kenny Young and a fifth-round pick that the team received by trading away kicker Kaare Vedvik to the Minnesota Vikings.
Peters has been traded twice in the last two years and is now on his third team in the NFL, “I don’t see all of the stuff that people talk about, I’ve never seen it, and I haven’t seen it since he’s been here,” said Raven coach John Harbaugh. “We’ll take him as he comes. I think he’s a great addition. He’s just what we needed. He’s a hard-worker.”
The Ravens will have a big test next week when they host the Patriots. Peters will have a chance to go against his old team in the Rams next month.