How do Kelce/Kittle’s extension impact LA Rams CB Jalen Ramsey?

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

As Travis Kelce and George Kittle celebrate their new contracts, how long do the LA Rams have to make good on their intentions to extend CB Jalen Ramsey

From the moment the news of Travis Kelce and George Kittle signing new contracts, the clock began to Tick for the LA Rams. You see, the Rams are up to re-sign veteran cornerback Jalen Ramsey to a new and likely record-setting contract to keep him with the Rams for the foreseeable future.

Tock. The clock has been ticking on the Rams for some time on the Ramsey contract extension. After all, the team traded multiple draft picks – including two first-rounders – to add him to their roster. That’s not the price a team pays to rent a player for under two seasons.  But the Rams had to clean house with their finances this year. That pushed the Rams with burdensome dead cap money of $34 million to swallow this year.  While that hurts their chances to compete in the 2020 NFL Playoffs, the Rams continue to work towards that goal.

Lower revenue, lower cap?

Tick. The news of limited to no fans-in-the-stands projected for 2020 lowered the NFL’s revenue projections for 2020.  The of the NFL’s struggles with the 2021 salary cap made the likelihood of the Rams being able to swing a deal for Ramsey seemed very difficult.

Tock. The news of the LA Chargers signing defensive end triggered a social media discussion between Jalen Ramsey and Darious Slay. The topic?  The market price of a shut-down cornerback.  Deals getting done elsewhere inadvertently apply more pressure on the Rams to get Ramsey’s deal done. Meanwhile, the record-setting deal for Aaron Donald just two years ago already looks like a great bargain.

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Deals getting done, where’s Ramsey’s payday?

Tick. George Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Dion Dawkins signed new deals with their respective teams.  With each new deal, the pressure goes up on the Rams. It’s important for the team to be careful, as this is likely the most important contract that the team will sign for the next five years.  Too much? The team will be unable to have any hope of signing other key players. Too little? The team won’t retain Ramsey, and the defensive secondary is back to the drawing board.

Tock. The frequency at which teams are committing dollars in an uncertain cap scenario suggests that the 2021 NFL salary cap may be more than the $175 million cap-floor currently discussed.

Where there is smoke, there’s . . . money?

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Home sweet home

TICK.  The Rams are not talking, Jalen Ramsey is not talking. But the Rams are talking to Ramsey’s agent, David Mulugheta, and the talks are amicable.  Both sides are confident that a deal will get done. In fact, confidence is running so high that Jalen Ramsey is rumored to be house hunting in the Los Angeles area. That’s always a good sign.

TOCK. The LA Rams may aim to tie the contract to the final 53-man roster. At that point, the team will have a definite answer where their 2020 salary cap stands.  Right now, Ramsey consumes $13.7 million of this year’s cap. Even with a cap bottleneck in 2021, the Rams have the space to get the deal done. And the team definitely needs to do so.  The defensive coordinator Brandon Staley is custom-designing the LA Rams defense to feature both Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald.

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The relations are good. Both sides believe a deal will get done. But time is ticking. Let’s hope the Rams get this deal done quickly so that the focus for everyone can return to winning this year.