Los Angeles Rams and former Florida Gators wide receiver Van Jefferson was traded to the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday.
The Rams received the Falcons’ 2025 sixth round pick in exchange for Jefferson and their 2025 seventh round pick. Jefferson spent two seasons with the Gators and racked up over 1,100 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
Sources: The #Falcons have agreed to trade for #Rams WR Van Jefferson. It’s a 2025 pick swap — 6th and 7th rounders. They hope to recapture his play from 2021. A low-risk, high-reward deal. pic.twitter.com/r5eowZIWjC
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 10, 2023
Why the Trade Makes Sense
The Rams drafted Jefferson with the 57th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In his time with the Rams, Jefferson accumulated 1,500 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Jefferson was a key contributor during the Rams 2021 Super Bowl team. He saw most of his NFL success in 2021, where he finished the season with 800 yards and six touchdowns. Since the 2021 season, Jefferson has yet to have a significant impact on the Rams’ offense.
With Cooper Kupp out to start the season, Jefferson was expected to have a large role in the Rams’ offense. However, the emergence of Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell diminished Jefferson’s role. After Kupp’s return in Week 5, Jefferson’s role with the Rams was nonexistent. Matthew Stafford targeted Jefferson zero times against the Eagles on Sunday.
What’s Next for Van Jefferson?
Five games into the 2023 season, Jefferson has not had much success. So far, he only has eight receptions for 108 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. The Falcons will hope that Jefferson can duplicate his success from 2021. He will join former Gator and teammate Kyle Pitts in the Falcons’ receiving room. The Falcons have a 3-2 record and are in second place in the NFC South.
Despite the strong start to the season, the Falcons offense has struggled to score points. The offense is only averaging 16.6 points per game. Although he has struggled this year, Jefferson has shown that he can be a quality starting wide receiver and deep threat. If he can continue his 2021 success, the Falcons’ offense will certainly gain a new dimension.
Jefferson is currently playing on the last year of his rookie contract. He will look to impress the Falcons’ front office to earn a new contract from the team.