The Rams acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey without signing him to a long-term deal. But they secured a short-term commitment before pulling the trigger.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Ramsey promised not to hold out next season, if the Rams and Ramsey fail to reach a long-term deal in the offseason.
Here’s the first problem with that promise, from the team’s perspective: It’s completely unenforceable. It’s also potentially a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement to hinge the willingness to trade for Ramsey on an off-the-books quid pro quo. (I think that’s the term; I haven’t heard it in the news for a while.)
So if Ramsey decides to hold out next year, he can. Nothing stops him from doing it. The Rams can claim that he promised not to, but so what? He still can hold out.
Or he can hold in, like he did this year in Jacksonville by embellishing or fabricating a back injury once he decided that he wanted to be traded. Really, once the rubber band gets stretched to the point that the player is willing to tap out of action for three weeks as part of a broader business strategy, anything and everything is on the table if he decides that he doesn’t like the offers that the Rams have made while operating under the assumption that Ramsey won’t utilize one of his biggest sources of leverage.
That’s perhaps the biggest point to keep in mind regarding these negotiations. Aaron Donald had to skip all of the 2017 training camp and preseason and all of the 2018 training camp and preseason to get the deal he deserved. At some point, Ramsey may come to the same conclusion that Donald did.
If Ramsey does, does anyone really think he won’t hold out?