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Report: Jalen Ramsey to become first $20 million cornerback?

Matt Johnson
Jalen Ramsey, contract
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams sacrificed two first-round picks to acquire Jalen Ramsey during the 2019 season. Now, after parting way with several high-paid stars, the Rams could be set to make Ramsey one of the NFL’s richest players.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Ramsey stands a very good chance to become the first cornerback to make $20 million per season. Recent contracts for Darius Slay and Byron Jones pushed the price for top cornerbacks up this offseason and Ramsey is now expected to push the market even higher with his next deal.

When the 25-year-old cornerback was traded to the Rams, he agreed to not holdout in training camp in 2020 to pursue a new contract. It will be a slight relief for the Rams, whenever training camp actually happens, but the team will still have to reward him with a record deal.

After being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, Slay signed a three-year extension worth $50 million. The new contract makes the 29-year-old, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, the highest-paid cornerback at nearly $16.7 million per season. Given Ramsey is younger and likely capable of reaching an even higher ceiling, he could potentially push for $20 million annually.

However, the Rams find themselves in a difficult cap situation. Even after releasing All-Pro running back Todd Gurley and trading Pro Bowl receiver Brandin Cooks, the team remains $5 million over the cap this season.

When a new extension gets done, Los Angeles will need to backload Ramsey’s contract to account for its poor cap management in recent seasons. Of course, that could come with financial ramifications in the future.

Either way, Ramsey is on his way to become the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. As the league’s salary cap continues to rise, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ramsey set the mark for his peers at $20 million annually on his next contract.