On Tuesday, October 10th, 2023 the Los Angeles Rams traded their 4th – year wide receiver, Van Jefferson, to the Atlanta Falcons in this mid – season NFL blockbuster trade agreement. As part of this new trade, the Atlanta Falcons are sending the Los Angeles Rams a 2025 6th – round NFL draft pick in exchange for a 2025 7th – round NFL draft pick.
Van is in the final year of his rookie NFL contract that he originally signed with the Los Angeles Rams fours years after playing his college football career at Ole Miss and the University of Florida, Jefferson has compiled only 8 – receptions which was good for a total of 108 – receiving yards as well as zero touchdowns during his below average 2023 – 2024 NFL season’s performance on the field with the Los Angeles Rams.
Presently Van measures in at 6 – feet and 1 – inch, 200 – pound wide receiver has participated in a total of 49 – games for the Los Angeles Rams in which 30 of those games he started at the wide out position. Jefferson’s best career NFL season was definitely during the 2021 – 2022 NFL season, when the Los Angeles Rams made their Super Bowl winning run. Van started every game that year, and he had career highs in targets with 89, catches with 50, yards with 802, and touchdowns with six of those.
The Recent Struggles of Van Jefferson on the Football Field:
The now 27 – year – old Jefferson has seemed to struggle in his attempts to secure a substantial role with the Los Angeles Rams offensive unit this season for several reasons. One is absolutely attributed to the unexpected emergence of the Los Angeles Rams star rookie WR in Puka Nacua as well as their 3rd – year wide receiver, Tutu Atwell.
Van was on the field for only 2 – offensive plays during the Los Angeles Rams’ 23 to 14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, as Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiving corps was supremely strengthened by the return of the Los Angeles Rams NFL All – Pro in Cooper Kupp as he just was activated off of the National Football League’s injured reserve list.
The Atlanta Falcons Offense:
Jefferson will now join up with the young and talented Atlanta Falcons wide receiver group which is currently being led by Drake London who was the Atlanta Falcons’ 1st – round NFL draft pick back in 2022, as well as their WR, Mack Hollins, who signed a 1 – year contract with the Atlanta Falcons over the past 2023 NFL offseason.
Van now has the opportunity to provide another solid offensive option for the Atlanta Falcons with their 2nd – year quarterback in Desmond Ridder, who is presently coming off of the best game of his young National Football League career as Ridder completed 75.7 % of his pass attempts which was good for a total of 329 – passing yards, 1 – touchdown, and zero interceptions too.
With a late – round NFL draft pick swap, it’s a low – risk, potentially high – reward move for the Atlanta Falcons which is similar to the trade the franchise made with the New England Patriots for the tight end named Jonnu Smith back in March of 2023. Smith now leads the Atlanta Falcons in receiving yards with 246, and he is tied with the rookie sensation Bijan Robinson for the team lead in receptions with 21 catches.
The Atlanta Falcons also have a decent tight end in Kyle Pitts who was the Atlanta Falcons 2021 1st – round NFL draft selection, as another valuable receiving target. Coincidentally both Jefferson and Pitts were college football teammates for 2 – seasons with the Florida Gators.
Media Statements from Sean McVay:
Earlier this week the Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay mentioned that there was, “some honest dialogue,” with Jefferson regarding his best opportunities moving forward, along with, “some of the options that he had outside of just on our team.”
“He’s a really capable player,” McVay explained. “Even when I said to you guys the other day, I didn’t anticipate him playing two snaps, but I think he felt like those opportunities would be better for him. He’s in the last year of his contract and that was something that felt like we were kind of able to accommodate both sides.”
Coach McVay did not want to disclose whether or not Van or his representatives such as his agent requested a trade from the Los Angeles Rams to another franchise in the National Football League.
“When I look at it, I look at it as a lot of success for Van Jefferson [during his time in L. A.] and it just so happened that with 12 games remaining in the regular season, an opportunity arose for him with another team that there was something enticing about that for him,” McVay stated. “[It] felt like it kind of lined up with some of the health and the depth of our receiver room and that was ultimately what led to it.”
McVay discussed that trading Jefferson is, “also a reflection of the confidence I have in the totality of the receiver group.” He also revealed that he was feeling much better about not having to worry about Kupp’s injury week – to – week following Sean getting to see him get through a whole NFL game last Sunday.
“I thought it was good to be able to see him go out there and play a full game’s workload and come out feeling good,” McVay goes on to say. “I only think he’s going to continue to get more and more comfortable as he acclimates to playing more games and more snaps. It’s bittersweet because I’m really happy for Van. I know he’s excited about it, but I love Van and he was a good player for us.“
Jefferson’s Football Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- Super Bowl Champion (LVI)