It’s Rams contract season, so when is Jalen Ramsey getting his massive deal?
If recent history repeats, the Rams and a star player will agree on terms of a record-breaking deal in the next week.
In 2018, defensive tackle Aaron Donald signed a then-record $135-million extension 10 days before the opener. Five days before last season’s opener, quarterback Jared Goff received a $134-million extension that included a then-record $110 million in guarantees.
The Rams acquired Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars last October in a trade that cost them two first-round draft picks. The Rams, however, did not have a long-term deal in place for a player who in 2019 was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time in four seasons.
The Rams’ Jalen Ramsey can excel at many positions, and soon he could sign the richest contract ever for an NFL cornerback.
Ramsey, 25, is scheduled to earn $13.7 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract. He is expected to command a new deal that could make him the NFL’s first $20-million-a-year cornerback.
Ramsey dominated during training camp. He has said that he was not worried about an extension, and that the Rams and his agent, David Mulugheta, would handle it.
After Thursday’s practice, coach Sean McVay was asked if he was hopeful that an extension for Ramsey would get done this weekend.
“We’ll see,” McVay said, “We’ll see.”
Would he be concerned if negotiations between the team and Ramsey’s agent were not complete before game-week preparations began?
“No,” McVay said. “He’s done a great job handling things. Those conversations that Jalen and I have had have been good and that’s where we’ll leave it.”
Kupp, 27, is entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed with the Rams in 2017 after he was drafted in the third round. He is scheduled to earn about $2.4 million this season, according to overthecap.com. In 2019, Kupp returned from knee surgery and led the Rams with 94 receptions, 1,161 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.
Rams safety Taylor Rapp has been playing himself back into shape this week after sitting out several practices because of a knee injury.
Kupp, sidelined the previous three workouts because of what McVay had described as lower-leg soreness, returned to full practice Thursday and made several impressive catches.
Safety John Johnson and tight end Gerald Everett are other players in the final year of their rookie contracts. But Ramsey and Kupp are regarded as dominoes that would fall first as the Rams plot their financial future.
Donald recalled on Thursday what it was like waiting for negotiations on his extension to be completed.
“You just want it done,” he said during a videoconference with reporters. “You want to have the opportunity to get what you worked for, what you deserved, to the point where the business part is handled. To the point where you can just get out there and play football and be free. That’s what it comes down to.
“There’s a lot that goes through your head. … You want the business side to get handled so you can just go out there and do what you do.”
The Rams are expected to make cuts Friday as they work to reduce the roster from 80 players to 53 by Saturday’s deadline. They can sign 16 players to the practice squad. The most high-profile roster decision will be at kicker. Lirim Hajrullahu, Austin MacGinnis and seventh-round draft pick Sam Sloman have competed to replace Greg Zuerlein. … McVay did not provide an update on rookie outside linebacker Terrell Lewis, who has been sidelined because of an unspecified knee issue. “It’s a unique situation, is what I would say,” McVay said. “I’m probably not knowledgeable to be able to truly articulate, and there’s still a lot of things that we’ve got to get figured out.” ... McVay said safeties Terrell Burgess and Jordan Fuller, receiver Van Jefferson and running back Cam Akers were rookies who stood out during training camp. …
Veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth was given a veteran’s rest day. Whitworth addressed the team on the field after practice. McVay declined to specify what Whitworth spoke about. “He’s real passionate about all the right things,” McVay said. “I’ll keep that in house, but it was just a challenge, based on where his heart is and kind of really listening to his teammates. A lot of the things that are going on and really just kind of trying to put some action in place. … But it was a special, powerful message that I think was received very well from the guys.”
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