Will Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey set salary bar for cornerbacks?
Will Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey set the bar when it comes to paying cornerbacks in the NFL? At least one writer believes so.
At some point, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jalen Ramsey and his agent are going to have to come together and decide how much will it take to keep the star cornerback in a black and teal uniform over the long haul?
The fourth-year cornerback, regarded by many to be the best at his position, is set to make $3.6 million in the fourth year of his rookie deal. The Jaguars have already announced they will pick up his fifth-year option, which will pay him $13.7 million in 2020.
Not a bad pay raise. But the outspoken Ramsey, who has discussed his desire to play for one team his entire career and has also stated the Jaguars front office must start the process of working out a deal for the former FSU star’s future.
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It’s safe to say, Ramsey, who was a Pro Bowler for the second consecutive season in 2018, will want to be paid as one of the top players in the NFL, not just at his position.
Ramsey, who had three interceptions last season, could set a new trend for cornerbacks of the future as Gil Alcaraz IV of FanSided pointed out in his most recent story of players who will set the financial bar, position by position.
"“Honestly, I’m surprised this one hasn’t happened already,” he writes. “In what seems like no time at all, Jalen Ramsey has already claimed his spot among the NFL’s premier cornerbacks. He’s got the toughness, the swagger and the cover skills needed to be the league’s highest paid at the position.”"
The Jaguars don’t have a real need to sign Ramsey to a long-term deal yet, given they have already assumed responsibility for Ramsey’s deal next season and could use the franchise tag on him after 2020 to work out a long-term deal with his agent.
The Jaguars also have to decide what kind of deal will be worked out with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who will test the free agent market if Jacksonville does not offer him a contract extension.
Having both Ramsey and Ngakoue under contract in 2020 are crucial to the success of the Jaguars defense.
If you ask Alcaraz, the deal will get done soon.
"“More than likely, he’ll have a new contract before the 2019 regular season rolls around. Despite occasional tension with the team and that he’s skipping voluntary OTAs, there’s no denying he’s deserving of a new deal,” he adds.“Paying him only $3.6 million in 2019 is highway robbery, and Ramsey knows it.”"
So do other players in the league. By comparison, according to Sportrac, his tag team partner, cornerback A.J. Bouye, who signed as a free agent in 2017, has a base salary of $13 million in 2019 and 2020. The Jaguars will need to move some money around over the next few seasons to accommodate rising stars in the roster.
The team must also decide which of the two defensive stalwarts – Ramsey or Ngakoue – gets a deal done first.
Other young stars who will be up for contract extensions in the next year or two are linebacker Myles Jack and running back Leonard Fournette.