Rams' all-in approach for Super Bowl success a cautionary tale for NFL teams moving forward

Los Angeles Rams v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Stafford and quarterback Sean McVay

Twenty-sixteen was a great year for football. Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey entered the NFL as a Jaguar before being dealt to the Los Angeles Rams a handful of years later. The Raiders broke the NFL record for the most penalties in a game - and still won - and, of course, the glorious 28-3 comeback happened.

It was also the last year the Rams had a first-round pick in the annual NFL draft.

Since becoming the head coach in 2017, Sean McVay has yet to select a single player in the first round. As it stands, he won't get to do so until 2024.

This is due to all the moves the team made to remain in the driver's seat during their immediate future.

In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Rams gave up a package of draft picks, including their 2017 first-rounder, to move up and select Jared Goff. The next year, Los Angeles traded their 2018 first-round pick for Brandin Cooks to go along with their hopeful quarterback of the future.

Neither player is currently on the roster.

A few months after trading their 2019 first-round pick during the draft to move down, L.A. traded both their '20 and '21 firsts to acquire cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

The last trade happened after McVay ran into former Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford at a hotel in Mexico. After some time together, McVay thought it best to pull the trigger and deal the team's '22 and '23 first-rounders, plus 2016 second-overall pick Jared Goff, to the Detroit Lions for Stafford.

And finally, after all that, Los Angeles was able to take home the Lombardi Trophy following the 2021 season.

Just one year after their glorious Super Bowl win, which the team traded multiple first-round picks to achieve, the Rams sit at 3-8, virtually out of the playoffs five weeks before the regular season ends.

Was it all worth it?

There are a number of different ways to look at this, but when you have practically a decade of Aaron Donald, who may be the NFL's best defensive player of all time, one ring should be considered disappointing. On the other hand, only 12 quarterbacks in league history have multiple Super Bowl rings.

The Rams have sacrificed their future to contend immediately, and with the sacrifice of their future comes one single ring. At the end of the day, however, you play to win the Super Bowl. L.A. ensured they grabbed, at least, one championship.

The Rams were close to giving up another pair of first-rounders at the trade deadline

Brian Burns almost dealt to L.A. at the deadline
Brian Burns almost dealt to L.A. at the deadline

The NFL had a record amount of trades at the deadline this season. Another blockbuster almost added to that number.

At the deadline, NBC's Albert Breer reported Los Angeles offered a pair of firsts for Panthers' edge rusher Brian Burns.

The Rams offered two first-round picks for Brian Burns, per @AlbertBreer The Panthers turned it down ๐Ÿ˜ณ

This trade would've effectively stretched their first-roundless streak to nine drafts. This means Sean McVay and general manager Les Sneed would not have a selection in the first round until 2027.

At this point, you have to wonder if McVay has a personal beef with first-round draft picks. We'll find out by the time the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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