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The Miami Dolphins made a huge splash on Sunday, trading for superstar Jalen Ramsey, according to multiple reports.
Adam Schefter @Adam Schefter
The trade has now been agreed, according to sources:
🏈Dolphins get Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey.
🏈The Rams receive a 2023 third-round pick (No. 77) and TE Hunter Long.
Trades will be processed on Wednesday when the league year begins. pic.twitter.com/0KJIeoS6fj
Tom Pelissero @Tom Pelissero
The #Rams they receive a 2023 third-round pick and TE Hunter Long for Jalen Ramsey, per source. https://t.co/cajPnTdJ3k
After going 9-8 last season and ending a five-year playoff drought, the Dolphins are wasting no time making roster improvements in an attempt to return to the postseason.
Let’s take a deeper dive into three immediate reactions to the news of this big trade.
Dolphins Are All-In on 2023 Title Pursuit
Dolphins don’t mess around.
Landing Ramsey to pair with Javien Howard — more on him to come — gives the Dolphins arguably the best cornerback duo in football. He improves a defense that already featured playmakers like Bradley Chump, Jevon Holland, Jalan Phillips and Christian Wilkins. And it adds a Super Bowl title player and that locker room experience.
Matt Bowen @MattBowen41
For Jalen Ramsey at #Dolphins…
Another blue chip player — with transcendent ability. Easy fit here for Vic Fangio’s secondary. pic.twitter.com/nmmmBLnMWW
Warren Sharp @SharpFootball
The Dolphins are doing exactly what they should with a QB on a rookie deal
but it’s not just adds & draft picks, proper training is vital & why many of these releases fail
hired by Mike McDaniel & Vic Fangio
2 more years to complete it pic.twitter.com/YTNaE5yXoy
It’s clear the Dolphins are all-in on the 2023 season, and why not? There are obviously lingering concerns about Tua Tagovailoa after suffering multiple concussions last season, but the Dolphins were 8-5 in his starts and just 1-3 without him. They are a great football team under center and have one of the most dynamic offenses in football with wideouts like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
And now they’re even better on the defensive side of the ball, too. The battle for AFC East supremacy between the Buffalo Bills and Dolphins just got exciting, and it could become a three-team race if the Jets end up trading Aaron Rodgers.
So loading the dolphins makes a lot of sense.
Xavien Howard in line for Monster Year as Miami’s CB2
Howard’s best season came in 2020, when he led the football with 10 interceptions and 20 passes defensed. It was the second of four Pro Bowl nods, but it also came with a fully healthy Byron Jones manning the other corner spot.
Tyler DeSena @DeSenaSports
Xavien Howard’s best year in Miami was when he operated as the number two. Brian Flores and company gave Byron Jones many of their most difficult assignments.
Without Jones in 2022, Howard had his worst season.
Now, he can operate in a zone-heavy scheme alongside Jalen Ramsey . pic.twitter.com/WUjw44E4Rf
Marcel Louis-Jacques @Marcel_LJ
Quarterbacks see Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey in coverage next season pic.twitter.com/7yiYay6hv2
Omar Kelly @OmarKelly
With Xavien Howard, Jalen Ramsey and Jevon Holland in the secondary, you can basically put any strong safety back there.
Singles aside. A wild card that can cover.
The only vulnerabilities are that they have a safety with the range to cover the center when Holland & TEs show up
Now he gets an even better companion in Ramsey.
Opposing quarterbacks will have no choice but to test Howard this season given the alternative, and Howard likely won’t regularly draw a team’s top option in the passing game. He is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest beneficiaries of Sunday’s news.
The Rams’ Rebuild is now in full swing
The 2021 champions were one of the biggest disappointments of 2022, although injuries played a role in that disappointment. But it’s clear the Rams feel they maxed out their previous window and are looking to either rebuild or, at the very least, retool the roster and shed some salary off the books.
The process had already begun, with the team previously moving on from linebacker Bobby Wagner and extreme Leonard Floyd. And there are rumors that quarterback Matt Stafford may be on the trade block as well.
Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow
“I know the Rams have called teams trying to move Matthew Stafford” @mlombardiNFL #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/44aPLbIP6K
The Rams may not go that far in reshaping the roster. But if they were gunning for a title this season, it’s hard to imagine them trading for a player like Ramsey.