Jalen Ramsey is somewhat of a lightning rod around the league this year. But that’s not because of his play. Many have latched on to his criticism of quarterbacks around the league in his GQ article. But talk aside, Ramsey is a dominant corner. Rumors about a trade came out weeks ago, but Ramsey said he wanted to be on one team for his career. One thing is for sure: Ramsey is the best draft pick the Jacksonville Jaguars have made in a long time and he needs to stay a Jaguar for a long time.
Jalen Ramsey Deserves an Extension
Ramsey the Playmaker
Lowest passer rating allowed when the nearest defender per Next Gen Stats (among 105 qualifying CBs):
– Jalen Ramsey (58.6)
– Patrick Peterson (58.8)
– Kyle Fuller (60.8)
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) December 12, 2018
According to the above tweet and Next Gen Stats, Ramsey is responsible for the lowest passer rating of any cornerback when he’s the nearest defender. It’s hard to be happy in a down year for the Jags, but Ramsey continues to show that he is an elite corner in the NFL. Two prime examples are the team’s previous two home games.
On November 18th, the Jaguars hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. Though it was a losing effort, Ramsey had arguably his best performance of the year. He made two interceptions (three passes defensed) and also had eight tackles. Both of Ramsey’s picks in this game came on throws meant for Antonio Brown.
On December 2nd, the Jaguars hosted the Indianapolis Colts. Ramsey was a game day decision to play on this game due to a knee injury. He suited up and played well through the pain. Ramsey had two passes defensed and six tackles. Though he didn’t follow T.Y. Hilton, he was masterful against him. On one play, Ramsey forced the ball out of Hilton’s hands, stopping a first down.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 18, 2018
The rumor mill started turning in late November. ESPN and Adam Schefter reported that Ramsey could be trade fodder. Of course, the Jaguars quickly issued a statement denying the veracity of any rumors involving Ramsey.
But Ramsey wants the organization to put its money where its mouth is.
Asked if he has his eyes on a contract extension, #Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey said: “If y’all serious about that [trade speculation] not being real, then y’all need to make it happen.”
— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) December 13, 2018
Ramsey is well aware of the so-called false trade rumors and he has an idea. If the Jags were telling the truth, then they need to give him an extension. It’s a fair point from one of the better corners in the league. It’s just his third year in the NFL, but Ramsey is easily top 10 at his position. It would be smart to extend the best player on not only the defense but your whole team.
Be Loyal and Give Ramsey a Good Deal
I know what you’re thinking. Be loyal? Granted, the NFL is a business and decisions are made with that in mind all the time. But a player of Ramsey’s caliber doesn’t come around often. He should be on the Jaguars for as long as he wants to, big mouth or not. Ramsey is a great talent and could be one of the leaders of the team for many years.
So what is a good deal?
Here’s a look at the top cornerback salaries in the league. The cornerback that currently has the highest salary is Josh Norman ($15 million average). While Norman was highly regarded before his move to Washington, he isn’t one of the more lauded defensive backs within the past few years. The top five corners average over $13.5 million a year. Whether or not the Jags give Ramsey a deal that makes him the highest paid corner is hard. He’s worth the money, but these days records in terms of player salary are being broken all the time. Just take a look at Aaron Donald‘s contract extension last offseason. But Ramsey should easily be paid top five money.
The Jaguars cap situation isn’t the best right now.
- Maximum Salary Cap: $204,968,739
- Active Contracts: $146,965,276
- Injured Reserve: $31,305,070
- Dead Cap: $19,815,066
- Total Cap: $198,891,012
- Est. Cap Space: $6,077,727
As you can see in the figures above from spotrac, the Jags only have estimated cap space of $6 million moving forward. And there’s the dead money (roughly $16 million) from Blake Bortles’ contract that will hit once the team cuts him. But the team is likely to move away from some high priced free agents in the coming offseason. Couple that with the front office’s ability to structure deals and the team will find a way. That’s what it boils down to. The front office has made some bad personnel decision, but they are decent at structuring contracts. With a player like Ramsey, you need to find a way to keep him as a centerpiece of the defense.
The Last Word
As mentioned, Jalen Ramsey is a lightning rod at times because of what he says. But he backs up his words with great play. The man has earned a great contract and that’s what he should get. In all likelihood, the trade talk was just drummed up by the media to create a story. But Ramsey was right in his interview. If the Jaguars are serious that the trade talks are false, then put up or shut up. Make Ramsey a top five paid corner in the league.
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