The Rams continue to wheel and deal ahead of the new league year. Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the Rams have agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree and a 2019 seventh-round draft pick to the New York Giants for 2018 fourth- and sixth-round selections, according to a source informed of the swap. Trades can’t become official until the new NFL league year opens on March 14. Ogletree signed a four-year, $42 million contract extension in October. The speedy linebacker compiled 231 tackles and two sacks the past two season in L.A. Still just 26 years old, Ogletree is a massive upgrade for a mediocre Giants linebacking corps that lacked speed and playmaking ability at the second level. Ogletree brings both to New York. The latest trade marks a busy few weeks for Rams general manager Les Snead. L.A. also agreed to acquire corner Marcus Peters from the Kansas City Chiefs and will ship pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Miami Dolphins. Rapoport added the Rams offered Ogletree to the Chiefs as part of the Peters deal, but they declined. L.A. shedding salary-cap space with the Ogletree and Quinn trades comes as no surprise as the Rams have a bevy of budding stars that need to get paid, including Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.
The former Buccaneers defensive tackle signed a one-year contract with the Bengals on Wednesday that pays out a little more than $3 million. Baker, 30, will be looking for a fresh start in Cincy after a disappointing season in Tampa, where he compiled just 33 tackles in 15 games after signing a three-year, $15.75 million contract last offseason. The struggles came amid speculation about his effort. Some Bucs players took issue with Baker smiling and his indifferent attitude after an offside penalty that helped seal a late-season loss to the Carolina Panthers. Baker was also one of the defenders who questioned his role with the Bucs, and the coaching staff, during the rough beginning to the season. The Bengals are banking on Baker being able to reignite the talents that made “Swaggy” a solid defensive lineman during his time with the Washington Redskins.
The franchise tag deadline passed and a fresh crop of players are set to get paid for one season, but one team had to maneuver to fit all of its salaries under the cap. Pittsburgh and wide receiver Antonio Brown agreed to a contract restructuring that frees up $9.7 million of space. It’s no act of charity or a pay cut to keep a teammate, though. Brown’s money is still coming to him, just in one sum — a signing bonus — instead of as part of his base salary. Everyone likes to get paid immediately, right? The move wasn’t made with the intention of clearing space for a long-term deal for Le’Veon Bell, though. The running back who was hit with the exclusive-rights tag is still looking at playing the 2018 season for a salary of $14.554 million. The only difference is now, Pittsburgh has just enough space to pay that salary for Bell. We remain at the same standoff between the Steelers and Bell, with neither side blinking and no action beyond Bell signing the tag this summer in sight. All the while, Brown will be standing off to the side, counting the money paid to him well before his first game check of 2018. Meanwhile, the Steelers franchise RB Le’Veon Bell said on Instagram Live Wednesday night that he won’t sit out the 2018 season if they’re unable to get a long-term contract in place before the July deadline. However, Bell did say that he will once again skip training camp. Bell said: “It’s just a re-run of last year”. The Steelers had said that they were hoping to have Bell with the team for training camp, as they felt it impacted him a bit to start last season. Although, it sounds like they won’t get their wish unless they’re able to come to terms on a long-term extension.