The Broncos sent the Rams a 2024 sixth-round draft pick in exchange for Young and a 2024 seventh-round pick. Young is the second linebacker the Broncos have acquired in the past three days to go with Saturday’s trade with the Minnesota Vikings to acquire Stephen Weatherly.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Friday, the day after the Broncos’ 17-14 loss to the Browns in Cleveland that saw three linebackers (Von Miller, Micah Kiser and Curtis Robinson) injured in the game, that general manager George Paton was “looking” at all options to bring in some help at the position.
The 6-foot-1, 234-pound Young, in his fourth NFL season, had started all seven of the Rams’ games this season and had played at least 40% of the snaps in six of them. He had a sack to go with seven tackles in Los Angeles’ victory Sunday over the Detroit Lions.
The Rams had acquired Young and a fifth-round pick in a 2019 trade that sent cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens. A reserve in 2019 and most of 2020, Young earned a starting spot in training camp this season.
The Rams will lean on third-year pro Troy Reeder, acquired as an undrafted free agent, and rookie Earnest Jones, a third-round pick from South Carolina, to step up in Youngs’ absence.
“There’s an investment in some of these younger backers, you spend a third-round pick on Earnest Jones,” coach Sean McVay said Monday. “He’s a guy that we feel like has a lot of upside.”
McVay said the decision to trade Young was “financially driven.”
“It does give us some flexibility, whether or not that means that any major big moves are imminent for us, that’s not something that I can really speak on right now,” McVay said.
The Rams entered Monday with $2.59 million available under the salary cap, according to Roster Management System. Young, who is in the final season of four-year, $3 million contract, had a salary cap number this season of $2.18 million. McVay said the financial flexibility could be something as simple as flexing players to the active roster from the practice squad.
For the Broncos, Weatherly and Young figure to be inserted into lineup fairly quickly.
The Broncos currently have seven linebackers on injured reserve, including three starters in Bradley Chubb (ankle), Josey Jewell (chest) and Alexander Johnson (chest). Kiser (groin) went to injured reserve Saturday to become the seventh player at the position and 16th player overall on injured reserve.
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle), who was injured in the regular-season opener, is expected to be moved off injured reserve to the roster this week.
Miller (ankle) and Robinson (wrist, thumb) also suffered injuries in the loss in Cleveland that could limit them some in practice in the coming days, and linebacker Aaron Patrick (ankle) did not practice last week and missed the Browns game.
Robinson, who was on the Broncos’ practice squad before Thursday’s game, was already playing because Kiser, who had replaced the injured Johnson, was injured in the first quarter against the Browns.
The Browns overwhelmed the Broncos’ front seven on defense with 182 yards rushing, including 52 yards rushing on Cleveland’s final possession to run out the final 5:12 of the game when the Broncos needed a defensive stop to get ball back to their offense in what was a three-point loss.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Lindsey Thiry contributed to this report.