Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is arguably the best player at the position but is headed into the final year of a rookie contract that pays about $3.6 million in base salary, and that may explain why he has opted to not appear at voluntary workouts this offseason.
As Joe Flacco and Josh Allen can attest, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and that’s mostly because he’s able to deliver when he’s on the field.
The former Florida State star is headed into the final year of his rookie contract before the fifth-year option kicks in, and the Jaguars would be unwise to break apart one of the NFL’s best cornerback duos in A.J. Bouye and Ramsey, even if they’d allocate a significant amount of funds to both players.
Right now, the relationship between Ramsey and the Jaguars is complicated. Ramsey has decided not to appear at voluntary OTAs this offseason, and this drew the ire of executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, who had some scathing words for both Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith.
In response, the NFLPA reminded Coughlin and the Jaguars that, yes, these offseason workouts are voluntary, and the team cannot mandate that Ramsey and Smith open themselves to the risk of injury for these events.
Ramsey’s agent David Mulugheta tweeted a statement of his own today, stating that Ramsey is spending more time with his family in Nashville and training on his own there, in preparation for the mandatory workouts later this offseason – and the season itself.
And the 24-year-old defensive back quoted his agent’s tweet with his own two cents.
As the NFLPA noted, Ramsey is well within his right to miss voluntary OTAs, and given his contract situation as an underpaid star on a rookie deal who could be one injury away from losing millions without a long-term deal after 2020-21, his stance is more than understandable.
Unfortunately for Ramsey, Coughlin probably doesn’t see it that way. He’s known for his tough approach to managing players, and he certainly didn’t mince words with his statement. It will be interesting to see how he and the Jaguars respond to Ramsey and his agent, and this could lead to some drama that bleeds into 2020.
Whether or not this affects how the Jaguars approach signing Ramsey to a long-term deal remains to be seen, but Coughlin’s next move could be worth watching.
Ramsey will be paid the average of the top 10 cornerback salaries in 2020 on the fifth-year option and Jacksonville can always use the franchise tag thereafter. Still, Ramsey would probably also like to have the security of a long-term deal sooner than later in a league where injuries are frequent guarantees are few and far between.