Four years ago, the eff-them-picks Rams made an all-in move for cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Less than three years after giving him a market-value contract, they’re ready to move on.
So why are the Rams shedding one of their best players? They’re supposedly committed to turning things around and not simply paying the bill for the Super Bowl buffet they enjoyed in 2021. Shouldn’t Ramsey, still only 28 years old, be part of that future?
The problem likely isn’t the balance of his current contract. The problem likely is that he’s angling for a new contract.
He has three years left on the five-year extension he signed in 2020. He’s due to make $17 million this year ($12.5 million of which is fully guaranteed), $18.5 million in 2024, and $19.5 million in 2025.
That’s an average of $18.33 million per year, over the balance of the deal. The full contract had an average of $20 million annually.
The cornerback market has sputtered in recent years, not increasing at the same rate as the salary cap. And Ramsey surely understands it.
There was talk before the 2022 season about Ramsey getting a new deal, but he still had four years left at the time. Now, with three years left, he likely wants a new deal — and he may be getting a new team in order to make that happen.
That seems to be the real reason why the Rams are trading him. It’s not because his skills have diminished, even if they have a bit. It’s not because his current deal has a bunch of phony-baloney, expensive, back-end balloon payments.
It’s because Ramsey wants more, and that the Rams are trying to accommodate him before things get as ugly as they did when he wanted out of Jacksonville.
That’s always the reality of trading for a guy who wants out of his current NFL situation. There’s a chance that, eventually, he’ll want out of his next situation, too.
That apparently won’t stop another team from giving up something to the Rams to get Ramsey, and then something more to Ramsey than he’s due to receive over the next three years.