On the surface, the Rams-Titans trade is pretty simple. But there’s a condition that applies in 2017, which makes things a little complicated.
The third-round pick that the Rams will send to the Titans has a condition, according to multiple league sources. If the Rams get a compensatory pick in the third round of the 2017 draft, the third-round pick sent to Tennessee will be the compensatory selection, not the standard third-round pick assigned to St. Louis.
If the Rams don’t get a third-round compensatory pick, the Titans get the Rams’ regular third-round pick, and a seventh-round pick will be shipped from the Titans back to L.A.
Based on the Rams’ free-agency losses and gains in 2016, there’s a decent chance they get a third-round compensatory pick; if they do, they’ll keep their original third-round selection in 2017. (They’ve lost during free agency cornerback Janoris Jenkins, safety Rodney McLeod, safety Daren Bates, and defensive tackle Nick Fairley. To date, the Rams have added as a free agent only safety Coty Sensabaugh, previously of the Titans.)
If the Rams don’t get a third-round compensatory pick next year, the Rams will send to Tennessee their regular third-round pick, but the Rams will pick up an extra seventh-round selection in 2017.
It’s the first trade potentially involving a compensatory draft pick. For the 2016 draft, compensatory picks can’t be traded. As of next year, they can be.