Over the course of his first two seasons, Jalen Ramsey has put together a body of work that rivals the best – and he’s going to be paid like the best.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been big spenders over the last several offseasons in the free agent market, largely due to the massive amounts of cap space they’ve had to work with.
In reality, all that cap space was only available because the Jaguars had been truly awful at drafting and developing talent over the last decade. With no players on their own roster worthy of a contract extension, the Jaguars had nobody to spend money on.
That’s not the case any longer, as the Jaguars now boast arguably the most talented roster in the NFL and they need to save room in the cap to re-sign their top guys.
Of those guys, the one who is going to command the most money is a certain trash talking defensive back.
Bill Barnwell over at ESPN put together a piece laying out the highest paid player at every position group in the NFL. He also made predictions on who he thinks the next in line is to make history at those spots.
There was one Jaguars player who made the list, and it’s a pretty obvious one:
"CornerbackAnnual average salary: Josh Norman ($15.0 million, 2016)Three-year total: Norman ($51.0 million, 2016)Who’s next: Jalen RamseyThe outspoken leader of the Jacksonville defense, Ramsey played remarkably well for a rookie cornerback in 2016 and was part of the best cornerback duo in football last season. The only question about Ramsey coming into the NFL was whether he would be a playmaker after intercepting just three passes at FSU, but the 23-year-old racked up four picks in addition to his 17 pass deflections in 2017. Ramsey isn’t due for a new deal until 2019 at the earliest, but he’s the position’s best bet to garner a massive extension. Marcus Peters also might be in the running here."
There is absolutely no doubt that Ramsey will become the highest paid defensive back in NFL history once the Jaguars begin negotiating with him on his next contract. There’s a chance Ramsey becomes the highest paid defensive player in the entire league now that Ndamukong Suh‘s comical deal is dwindling down.
The Jaguars have already had to make tough decisions on some of their young talent (watching Allen Robinson and Aaron Colvin both walk away was tough), but there will be no decision to make on Ramsey. The Jaguars will pony up whatever the market value is and odds are it will come close or likely break the $20 million a year average mark.
Ramsey may be a costly asset when he hits his prime, but he’ll be well worth it.