With the NFL on the cusp of free agency, teams are purging their rosters of players with prohibitive contracts. The Seattle Seahawks are considering dismantling their legendary 'Legion of Boom' secondary and other teams have already traded high price stars.
The alternative is to cut those players and absorb the salary cap hit for the remainder of their contacts. Teams have found a way to circumvent the process by finding trade partners for these still valuable, but overpriced, assets. Teams with needs and expendable cap space are lining up to pad their rosters with such players.
The New York Giants have never been inclined to make trades, especially when it came to surrendering draft picks, a commodity former GM Jerry Reese coveted with his life. Those days are apparently long gone now that Reese has been fired in favor of Dave Gettleman, who sent two draft picks (a fourth and a future sixth rounder) to the Los Angeles Rams for 26 year-old linebacker Alec Ogletree.
The move was a long time coming. The Giants have had a dearth of talent at the linebacker position the past decade and did very little to augment the unit through the draft or free agency. Ogletree gives them a legitimate, diverse talent for incoming defensive coordinator James Bettcher to utilize in his fluid formations.
Ogletree has been a very productive player since being drafted by the Rams with the 30th overall pick out of Georgia in 2013. He has recorded 501 tackles in his five seasons in the NFL, even though his 2015 season was limited to four games due to a broken fibula.
Many perceive a fourth rounder to be a high price for Big Blue to pay for Ogletree (the Rams only gave up a fifth rounder for Pro Bowl CB Aqib Talib) but considering the club has two fourth round picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, the move seems well worth the cost. The pick being sent to Los Angeles is a compensatory selection the Giants were awarded last week by the league.
The Giants will also receive a 2019 seventh round pick from the Rams in the deal which will become official on March 14, the first day of the new NFL year. Ogletree's salary, estimated to be around $10 million per year until 2021, is not expected to impede the Giants' ability to sign free agent offensive lineman, specifically Carolina's Andrew Norwell. Translation: some more moves are coming and Gettleman is showing that he's not afraid to make them.