As the trade deadline inches closer, the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos agreed to a trade on Monday.
The Rams sent starting linebacker Kenny Young and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Broncos in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick, the Rams announced.
In seven games Young started for the Rams this season, he registered 46 tackles, six tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup. Young, 27, is on pace for his best season as a pro.
Given the production that Young delivered, it's pretty unclear as to why he would be expendable via trade as the Rams have their sights set on making a Super Bowl run.
This will be his third team in three seasons, starting his career with the Baltimore Ravens prior to joining the Rams.
Here's the Rams and Broncos grade out following this midseason transaction:
Young's snap count from the start of the season to Week 7 had steadily gone down but throughout that time frame, he still remained the team's best linebacker. With a 6-1 record, it’s fairly shocking that the Rams are the ones selling off assets as players of Young's caliber are typically the defenders who'd want to keep.
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Perhaps this move had a lot to do with Young's contract as the Rams have been restructuring deals in recent days. According to Nick Korte of Over The Cap, the Broncos will inherit $1.3 million of Young’s contract, leaving the Rams with $849,000 in dead money. The move will save the Rams $1.3 million in cap space.
Young is playing on the final year of his rookie contract, prompting him as a player to move on from, but arguably the most confusing part of the deal is what L.A. got in return. It's puzzling that the Rams would trade this kind of production just to swap late-round picks in 2024.
The Broncos unequivocally received significant value in this trade, upgrading their most vulnerable position. Denver has encountered countless injuries at linebacker – with six currently on injured reserve – so this acquisition to bring Young to the Mile High state will assist in providing stability.
The cost to bring in a linebacker with starting experience who will presumably come in and play right away given the familiarity of Vic Fangio's defense after playing for Brandon Staley last season, does nothing to hurt the future of the Broncos while remaining aggressive.
Young has a fiery personality, that displays his emotions in the way he plays the game. Plugging Young into the equation in Denver, he ranks first and second among all the main statistical categories for linebackers on the Broncos.
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