The Los Angeles Rams continued their efforts to get under the salary cap, dealing defensive end Michael Brockers to the Detroit Lions in a trade that will become official when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, per the Associated Press. The Rams will receive a 2023 seventh-round pick in the deal, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Brockers spent all nine seasons of his NFL career with the Rams and was general manager Les Snead's first draft pick when he took over the team in 2012.
Brockers finished with 51 tackles, matched a career-high with 10 quarterback hits, and recorded five sacks in 15 games. He finished with 10 pressures, two hurries, and five quarterback knockdowns. Entering the second year of a three-year, $24 million contract he signed last offseason, Brockers had a cap number of $9.833 million heading into the 2021 season. The Rams save $6.16 million in cap space with the deal.
Brockers is the second major departure on the Rams defense in free agency, as safety John Johnson III signed a four-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. He almost left the Rams last offseason, agreeing to a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens -- as the deal was nixed after Baltimore couldn't receive a satisfactory physical in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brockers has 28 sacks in 138 career games with the Rams, recording 62 quarterback hits and 395 tackles. Mainly known for being a strong run-stopper, Brockers and Aaron Donald formed one of the top defensive tackle tandems in the NFL for half a decade. Detroit gets a valuable leader in Brockers, who will help anchor a rebuilding roster for 2021.