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Jalen Ramsey says he doesn’t have weight of Rams contract on his (rehabbing) shoulders

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey talks with defensive back Terrell Burgess during minicamp.
Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, left, talks with defensive back Terrell Burgess during minicamp.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Jalen Ramsey watched during the offseason as the Rams opened the bank for three cornerstone players.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp. and defensive lineman Aaron Donald received extensions that include what could be a combined $290 million in guarantees.

And what of Ramsey, a three-time All-Pro cornerback and the fourth cornerstone for the Super Bowl champion Rams?

In 2020, Ramsey signed a five-year, $100-million extension that made him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history.

But Ramsey no longer holds that distinction.

Matthew Stafford was back to firing passes at teammates during the first day of training camp as the Rams focus on defending their Super Bowl title.

Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers will earn $21 million this season, according to overthecap.com. Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns will earn $20.1 million, Ramsey $20 million.

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Ramsey, 27, was asked Monday whether he wanted an extension and what the timeline might be.

His answer: When the time is right.

“That’s what I say about everything that’s going on,” Ramsey, who is less than two months removed from shoulder surgery, said after the Rams’ second training camp practice. “When the time [is] right, things will happen. In due time. I’ll let the people who need to handle those things handle ‘em.

“But I got to handle what I got to handle, and right now for me that’s being a good teammate, getting this shoulder right, getting this rehab right, so I can go have another good season and help this team in as many ways as possible.”

The Rams open training camp as the defending Super Bowl champions, but there are plenty of questions surrounding the team at the start.

The Rams’ outlay of cash for extensions is expected to grow before the season opener Sept. 8 against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. During camp, the team is expected to announce that coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead have signed extensions.

But Ramsey apparently will have to wait.

“It hasn’t been anything that’s discussed about like a new deal with him,” McVay said, “but I know, to my understanding, he feels really good about everything.”

Ramsey will spend training camp in a limited role as he rehabilitates his left shoulder. He played last season with issues in both shoulders and still starred for a defense that helped the Rams complete a boom-or-bust season with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

Ramsey said he had hoped that the injuries would be resolved with offseason rest. He participated in the Rams’ minicamp in early June but said he was still feeling pain when a deadline he and team trainers had pinpointed arrived.

Rams players, coaches and team personnel received their Super Bowl LVI rings Thursday night in a private ceremony.

“It just got to the point where it was little too yucky, a little too messed up in there,” he said of his shoulder. “It just needed to be cleaned out and made new again.”

On Friday, the Rams announced that Ramsey would be put on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, a move Ramsey said he believed was creating needed roster space. But that decision to put him on the PUP list was reversed because it would have prevented Ramsey from participating in any on-field activities, including walk-throughs.

“I was just like, ‘Cool, I ain’t no puppy anyway,’ ” he quipped, “So, let’s get it.”

On Monday, Ramsey participated in the walk-through before practice. He spent the rest of the workout on the sideline, clutching a practice script and helping teammates.

“He’s got a big personality — we all love him to death,” safety Nick Scott said. “But he’s also got an amazing amount of insight, just with as much time he’s spent in the league and the things he’s done on the field.”

Rookie cornerback Derion Kendrick was arguably the star of the workout, breaking up several passes Monday. Kendrick sought counsel from Ramsey several times before and after plays.

Rams coach Sean McVay is due a contract extension, but as training camp opens this weekend he’s not worried about a timetable to finish the deal.

“Every time I come on the field, I want him to give me at least one or two pointers,” Kendrick said. “That’s what he tried to do a lot of [Monday].”

Ramsey is enjoying offering immediate feedback to teammates, but his main goal is to “stay strict” in adhering to a rehabilitation schedule that will have him ready to play in the opener.

“There is no doubt in my mind I’ll be ready when the time is right,” he said.

Last season, Ramsey lined up at times in the secondary, as a hybrid linebacker and along the line of scrimmage. He intercepted four passes, tying his career best, and was voted All-Pro for the third time in six NFL seasons.

As he continues to ascend, so does the opportunity for Ramsey to reset the cornerback market again — at some point. He is pleased to have seen it evolve.

“I’m happy for any of the guys who get paid,” he said. “They work extremely hard, make a lot of sacrifices, and they earn it.

“So, I’m extremely happy for them — I wish it was even higher.”


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