$15 million buys a lot, but not jersey for Jaguars rookie Jalen Ramsey

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey recently got a $15 million signing bonus so he can afford a lot of things.

A huge home. Luxury cars. A small yacht. Top-level designer clothing and jewelry. Maybe even invest in a couple of local business opportunities.

However, there’s one thing that he won’t have enough funds for: The No. 23 jersey.

That currently belongs to second-year safety James Sample and he says he’s not giving it up regardless of what kind of offer Ramsey makes.

"Me and him talked about it, but this year, I’m going to be wearing 23," Sample said Tuesday.

Right now, Ramsey, who had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn right meniscus and is out until training camp, is stuck with 38, which is the only defensive back number available, and he hates it. He wants 23, in part because has signed an endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan brand, named after Michael Jordan. Ramsey said during the Jaguars’ rookie orientation earlier this month that he’s willing to part with “shoes, cash, everything” to pry it away from Sample.

Rumor has it Ramsey’s offer has surpassed $30,000, but Sample isn’t budging.

"No offer he could give me [could make him part with 23]," Sample said. "Money isn't the issue."

As for what is, Sample was straightforward with one reason and cryptic with another. The first has to do with his birthday -- Sample was born on June 23, 1992 -- but the second has to do with the community in which he grew up: Del Paso Heights in North Sacramento, California.

“It [the number 23] is back from where I’m from, so it’s a lot of pride in wearing that number,” said Sample, who graduated from Grant Union High School in 2011. “It’s not just because Jordan wore it. I could care less.

“... It’s just overall the community. They understand the reason behind it.”

Sample said he didn't want to elaborate on the community connection, but it’s pretty clear that it's important to him so Ramsey is going to have to either accept wearing 38 or wait until some defensive backs are cut and grab one of those vacant numbers.