One of the most memorable trades in NFL history occurred this morning when the Raiders traded Khalil Mack, along with a 2nd and 5th round pick to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a package of draft picks that included two 1st round picks.
After failing to agree to a new contract extension, the only option was for the Raiders to deal Mack. Until this morning, it seemed like a surreal scenario for the NFL, but it actually happened. One of the best defensive players in the last few decades is now a Chicago Bear.
How does this relate to the Jacksonville Jaguars? Well, the Jaguars have a one of the best defensive players in the NFL in their roster as well. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey is entering his third year in the NFL and has an additional year still left on his contract before the Jaguars choose to use the fifth-year option on him. However, Tom Coughlin and company might want to look closely at the debacle that occurred between the Raiders and Khalil Mack. The Jaguars must avoid this situation at all costs with Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey talks a lot like most corners do. But, he also backs it up like most corners don’t. He is widely regarded as the best corner and one of the top defenders in the entire NFL. Ramsey is going to request elite money. He deserves it.
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But, how much? As of now, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is the highest paid cornerback, making 15 million annually. Ramsey currently ranks as the 31st highest paid cornerback while even his own teammates currently rank above him in salary (A.J. Bouye, 7th and D.J. Hayden, 28th). That is okay though. Ramsey is still in his rookie contract and because of that, it is expected.
Ramsey’s new contract will very well depend on the contract that current Los Angeles Rams cornerback Marcus Peters signs. Peters has been in the league one year longer than Ramsey. Because of that, Ramsey will be able to see how much Peters gets from the Rams (or in free agency from another team if they can’t agree to a contract). Assuming Peters becomes the highest paid at 16 million annually, Ramsey could be looking to sign a deal where he makes anything from 17 million up to even 20 million a year.
No one would be surprised if Ramsey wants to become the first 20 million dollar cornerback in the NFL. Even if Ramsey wants that much, the Jaguars should not question it at all. Pay the man. Ramsey deserves that money if he continues his play in 2018. The Jaguars should not wait too long either. They should be looking to start negotiations with Ramsey immediately at the conclusion of the 2018/2019 season. The faster they can take care of it, the better. This would also give the Jaguars a lot of time to also negotiate long-term deals for DE Yannick Ngakoue and LB Myles Jack.
The Raiders chose to wait it out a long time and everything went south for them and Khalil Mack. The Jaguars can’t make the same mistake with their defensive superstar.
Take notes, Jacksonville.
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