In a year in which Le'Veon Bell changed the way the franchise tag is viewed after skipping an entire season to avoid it, another high-stakes stare-down could be looming in Jacksonville. Jaguars outspoken cornerback Jalen Ramsey is aiming to become one of the highest paid defensive backs in the game, league sources indicated, and will consider holding out if necessary to do so.
Ramsey has made it clear to those around him about his desire to tear up his rookie contract. Ramsey, the fifth-overall pick in 2016, is one of the more brash players in the NFL, and, with accrued seasons to his credit, he is eligible to renegotiate his rookie contract this offseason. The Jaguars already made AJ Bouye one of the highest-paid corners in league history, signing him as a free agent in 2017 to a deal worth $26M guaranteed and $13.5M per season; thresholds sources said Ramsey will be looking to break.
The Jaguars have the rights to Ramsey for at least two more seasons, not included years after that in which he could be franchised. Ramsey's attitude has created problems for the faltering team this season, and he was suspended by the team for a week as well for his actions toward the media. After an offseason-long media campaign leading up to the 2018 season, in which he shredded opposing quarterbacks by name and loaded Jacksonville's Super Bowl pedigree, the teams brass knows it must alter their locker room culture and tamp down some of the more extreme behavior in 2019.
Ramsey is unquestionably one of the most talented and well-rounded cover corners in the NFL, but he has been a handful at times and his negotiations with the Jaguars will be closely watched around the league, with ample fireworks anticipated along the way.