The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade wide receiver Van Jefferson to the Atlanta Falcons, league sources confirmed Tuesday. NFL Network first reported the news. Here’s what you need to know:
- Jefferson, 27, has eight receptions for 108 yards and no touchdowns this season.
- He has played his entire career in Los Angeles since the Rams selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
- ESPN initially reported the possibility of a trade, but signs started pointing that way when a healthy Jefferson played just two snaps in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Why L.A. is moving on from Jefferson
The return of Cooper Kupp from a hamstring injury and the emergence of rookie receiver Puka Nacua and third-year receiver Tutu Atwell are major factors here for Jefferson, who (outside of injuries in 2022) has been a productive contributor to the offense.
Nacua’s historic start to his career vaulted him into the early reads in quarterback Matthew Stafford’s progression, absent Kupp for the first four games.
Jefferson’s best season — also one in which he was healthy — was in 2021, when he had 50 catches for 802 yards. Knee injuries sidelined him through the first part of the 2022 season. Coaches have lauded Jefferson’s long speed and route-running ability and his knowledge of multiple receiving positions, but he has had a relatively slow start to 2023.
Jefferson is a free agent after this season, and the Rams don’t often extend receivers — also a factor in the move. A trade could mean more usage for Jefferson, a positive thing for him in a contract year. In moving Jefferson, the Rams could be looking to add to other parts of their roster. — Jourdan Rodrigue, Los Angeles Rams writer
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)