In mid-October, the Rams extended the contract of linebacker Alex Ogletree. And now they’ve traded him to the Giants.
“Alec has evolved into a true leader of our football team and we are excited to sign him to this extension,” General Manager Les Snead said at the time regarding the 2013 first-rounder pick. “His teammates voted him as a captain in back-to-back seasons for a reason – and it’s not only because of his production, but his character and resiliency. We look forward to Alec helping our team emerge as a consistent winner for years to come.”
The trade avoids a $7 million roster bonus that Ogletree is due to earn next Friday, along with $3 million base salary that is fully guaranteed. The move to dump a player regarded so highly by the team less than five months after giving him a four-year extension underscores the reality that the Rams have some difficult to decisions to make as young, capable players become eligible for new contracts. The trade of Robert Quinn coupled with the trade of Ogletree shows that tough decisions will have to be made when it comes to managing the cap — and that the front office will be facing plenty of pressure when it comes to addressing roster needs with younger, cheaper players.
As the new league year approaches, attention now turns to another 2013 first-rounder selection — receiver Tavon Austin, who is expected to be released if he’s not traded. The cash and cap savings will be devoted, sooner than later, to players like defensive tackle Aaron Donald and, perhaps more immediately, receiver Sammy Watkins.