Jalen Ramsey wants a new contract. His current deal, which he signed in 2016, does not expire until after the 2020 season and will cost the team about $21.1 million in cap space over that time. That’s not a bad deal, particularly for Jacksonville. They get an elite talent at one of the NFL’s premium positions for an average cap hit that would rank outside the top-10 for cornerbacks in 2018.
But if Ramsey is willing to go to the negotiating table now (and he is), the Jaguars should jump at the opportunity to join him there. Instead, the team that was willing to give Blake Bortles a contract extension worth $54 million a year earlier than it had to has decided it will not be giving Ramsey a contract extension in 2019. That’s according to Ramsey himself …
The benefit of getting a deal done sooner rather than later is obvious. Ramsey will undoubtedly ask the Jaguars to reset the cornerback market whenever the deal gets done. He said as much during a live stream with teammate Leonard Fournette …
By getting a deal done now, and basing it off the record-breaking deal Miami gave Xavien Howard (five years, $75.25 million), the Jaguars could save themselves a lot of money and cap space down the line. That’s what the Eagles did when they signed Carson Wentz two years before they had to. With top corners like Byron Jones and Marcus Peters (though he may need a bounce-back season to garner a monster payday) slated for free agency in 2020 and a salary cap that’s always on the rise, Ramsey’s price tag will only go up from here.
If Jacksonville’s front office wasn’t led by Tom Coughlin, whose face burns red with anger every time a player misses voluntary mini camp or, like, has an opinion, I’d imagine the team would not hesitate to give Ramsey a long-term deal. What team wouldn’t want to lock down one of the few corners who can hold his own while matching up with the likes of Odell Beckham, Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown one-on-one?
The prevailing narrative is that Ramsey’s play took a step back in 2018, which could give the Jags’ front office pause, but that’s not the story the film is telling. His Pro Football Focus grade took a hit — 91.3 in 2017 and 72.8 in 2018 — but PFF doesn’t adjust for the receivers Ramsey is going up against — it does, however, adjust for the coverage assignment (zone, man-to-man, etc.) — so covering No. 1 receivers week in and week out, as Ramsey did, naturally dragged his grade down.
(I also disagree with some of the individual grades PFF gave him. The Giants and Chiefs games, for example. He received “below average” grades for those performances. After reviewing the film, I thought he played Beckham to a draw and got the best of Hill. PFF did give Ramsey an “elite” grade for his work against Pittsburgh.)
Based on PFF’s WAR metric, Ramsey, at his best, is worth “about one win” above replacement. That may not sound significant, but consider the fact that he’s one of 53 players on the active roster and Aaron Donald’s 2017 season, which was historically good, earned a WAR of 1.8. One win is a big deal over the course of an NFL season.
When Ramsey is at the top of his game, he is one of the most valuable defensive players in the league and a transcendent talent at the cornerback position. He’ll eventually be paid as such. If the Jaguars are smart, they’ll be the ones to do it — and sooner rather than later.
Nagelsmann backs RB Leipzig to challenge Bundesliga status quo
Tuesday July 30, 2019
New RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann thinks his team will be able to challenge the Bundesliga dominance of Bayern Munich. RB Leipzig's new head coach Julian Nagelsmann has spoken in bullish terms about his ambitions for the club ahead of the new Bundesliga season. Nagelsmann, 32, took the helm in June and will lead […]
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