James Bettcher’s defense obtained a versatile new weapon on Wednesday afternoon, as the Giants sent two picks to Los Angeles in exchange for veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Decimated by injuries in 2017, the New York Giants linebacking corps is about to get a major veteran upgrade.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday afternoon that veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams, will be donning a new shade of blue next season, as he will be sent over to the Giants via a trade. The Giants also acquire a 2019 seventh-round selection from Los Angeles, while sending over a fourth-round (102nd overall) and a sixth-round selection (176th overall) from this year’s draft proceedings in return.
Compensation update: Giants are trading their fourth-round pick and their sixth-round pick in return for LB Alec Ogletree and the Rams' 2019 seventh-round pick, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2018
The Giants now have five picks in April’s draft, including a fourth-round compensatory selection (135th overall). They traded their seventh-rounder (220th overall) to Pittsburgh in September for cornerback Ross Cockrell.
Ogletree, 26, previously spent his entire career with the Rams organization, drafted by their St. Louis incarnation in the first round (30th overall) in 2013. He burst onto the scene with a strong rookie season, his 94 tackles and 11 pass deflections leading all rookie linebackers.
Though his progress was slightly hampered by a broken fibula injury in 2015, Ogletree responded with a career year in 2016, the franchise’s first in its second Los Angeles term. Moved from the weakside spot to inside, Ogletree posted a career-high 136 tackles, which ranked seventh in football. His efforts were rewarded with second-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press.
Ogletree’s versatility should no doubt intrigue James Bettcher, the Giants’ incoming defensive coordinator whose 3-4 unit in Arizona became known for its quarterback pressure.
A Georgia alum, Ogletree does have some notorious history against the Giants, dating back to the teams’ December 2014 matchup in St. Louis. Late in the second quarter, Ogletree’s blatantly late hit out of bounds, and subsequent shove-down on receiver Odell Beckham Jr. sparked a melee that extended to the Giants’ sideline that led to the ejections of three players, while Ogletree was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Beckham had the last laugh, tallying 148 yards and two scores in what became a 37-27 Giants win.
The Giants, coming off their worst season in franchise history in terms of losses, had some hard luck at linebacker this season. Inside sophomore, B.J. Goodson, tallied a league-high 18 tackles on opening weekend but dealt with injuries for the remainder of the season. The injury bug spread to others, including fellow starters Keenan Robinson and Jonathan Casillas, forcing the team to finish the year with undrafted rookies and in-season free agents playing meaningful downs.
Minutes after the trade was announced, Rams running back Todd Gurley expressed his apparent displeasure with the trade on Twitter, his disapproval made clear through a pair of emojis.
— Todd Gurley II (@TG3II) March 7, 2018
Prior to this season, in which he accumulated 95 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown in the Rams’ NFC West title trek, Ogletree inked a four-year, $42 million extension, with just under $19 million guaranteed. Per overthecap.com, Ogletree will be a $10 million cap hit in 2018. The Giants are expected to have $25-to-30 million to spend under the cap this offseason.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.