JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jalen Ramsey has said several times that he wants to play for one team in his NFL career, but he said Thursday that he doesn't know whether the Jaguars feel the same way despite their recent statement that they have no intention of trading him.
The Jaguars said that in response to a Nov. 18 report by ESPN's Adam Schefter that Ramsey is likely one of the players who will unexpectedly emerge in trade talks during the offseason. Ramsey said that if the team begins negotiations on a contract extension after the season ends, it will be further proof they want to keep him around.
"Like I said, I'm going to let my agent and the front office handle that, but after what came out here, what was it, five weeks ago or however many weeks ago it was, yeah, I'm feeling like, yeah, if y'all serious about that [a potential trade] not being real, then y'all need to make it happen," Ramsey said. "If not, then maybe what came out five weeks ago will happen. We'll see."
Ramsey has one more year remaining on his rookie contract and is scheduled to earn $3.6 million in 2019, but the Jaguars can begin negotiating an extension after this season ends.
However, the Jaguars also could keep Ramsey through at least the 2021 season without giving him a new contract. The team must decide whether it will pick up the fifth-year option on his contract by early May (it would be a major surprise if they didn't). Since he was a top-10 pick (sixth overall) in 2016, his fifth-year option salary in 2020 would be the average of the top-10 highest-paid cornerbacks from the previous season and would be guaranteed for injury only until the start of the 2020 league year. The Jaguars also could use the franchise tag on him in 2021, which would mean he'd be paid the average of the top-five highest-paid cornerbacks.
Ramsey was a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in 2017 after breaking up 17 passes and intercepting four others. He has 10 pass breakups and three interceptions this season.