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Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey makes $1-million donation to school

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey waits to take the field on defense during a game on Oct. 20, 2019.
Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey waits to take the field on defense during a game last season.
(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

He is in line for a historic contract extension, but Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey is not waiting to make significant charitable contributions.

Ramsey on Wednesday pledged a $1-million donation to Purpose Preparatory Academy, a kindergarten-fourth grade school in Nashville, where he grew up.

“I chose to support Purpose Prep because it is important for every child to have the opportunity to receive a great education, and the Purpose Prep programs are designed for underprivileged children in my hometown to have access to those services,” Ramsey said in a statement released through Athletes First, his agent firm. “I believe in its mission and want to help level the playing field since a solid elementary education is the foundation to a successful future.”

Lagra Newman, founder and head of school at Purpose Prep Academy, said Ramsey has been involved with the school for several years. His donation will be used for technology, professional development and in other areas to help students bridge a digital divide and continue to achieve despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“This is a great opportunity for Jalen to reach back to his community and impact children who look up to him, who look like him and who have aspirations,” Newman said in a phone interview. “And he knows that their success is dependent on the quality of education that they receive.”

Ramsey, the fifth pick in the 2016 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, is scheduled to earn $13.7 million this season in the final year of the rookie contract. The Rams gave up two first-round draft picks in a trade for Ramsey last October, and the three-time Pro Bowl player is expected to receive an extension that will make him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history.

The Rams open the season Sept. 13 against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Rams and Ramsey’s agent, David Mulugheta, have been in contact since the trade from the Jaguars and the Rams have said they are confident they will get a deal done.

Ramsey has said that the Rams “know where I stand,” that he was not worried about the situation and that he would leave it to the Rams and his agent.

Asked Wednesday how confident he was that a deal would be in place by the Rams’ opener, coach Sean McVay said the situation was being handled “behind the scenes” by the team and Mulugheta.

“One thing I think we all know is, Jalen is so refreshingly secure in himself and confident that it would be great if it gets done, but also, you know this guy’s not going to be distracted by whether it is or isn’t done,” McVay told reporters during a videoconference after a morning practice. “He’s going to go out and try to continue to demonstrate why he’s one of the best in the league at what he does.”

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Would McVay be concerned about the mind-set of player such as Ramsey if he began the season without an extension?

“I don’t get the feeling that he will let anything really deter from his ability to play football,” McVay said. “He’s the epitome of a competitor and I don’t see that being an issue. But, it is something that we’d like to be able to work through.”

SoFi Stadium will open without fans at Rams and Chargers games because of the pandemic.

Ramsey, 25, has dominated during training camp practices. He has intercepted multiple passes and is a vocal leader of the secondary.

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“The more that I get to know him, the more I’m enjoying just being around the human being,” McVay said. “Then you see what he’s doing day in and day out at practice, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Etc.

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was on the field, but he did not practice because he was given “a vets day off,” McVay said. … Safety Taylor Rapp, who is nursing a knee injury that has prevented him from practicing, was on the field but did not participate in team drills. Running back Darrell Henderson (hamstring) worked on the side with a member of the training staff.


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