LA Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s situation was ridiculed by 49ers sports writers in the offseason. Now, he has a chance to silence them.
The LA Rams needed a show-stopper in the secondary. So they went out and scored on one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks via a blockbuster trade in 2019 for the discontented Jacksonville Jaguars star, Jalen Ramsey. The move not only cost the LA Rams multiple draft picks, including two firsts, but it also required the LA Rams to step up and sign Jalen Ramsey to a contract extension.
That situation became a matter of patience and faith for the LA Rams. Throughout the process, the Rams organization and Jalen Ramsey held a consistent message. Team representatives urged the media to be patient. They assured everyone that a deal would get done. And both team and player representatives consistently expressed confidence that both sides were on the same page.
All’s well that ends well, almost
Of course, it turned out exactly as the team and the player said it would. The LA Rams did indeed extend Ramsey and to a team-friendly deal that ensured that Jalen Ramsey became the highest-paid defensive back in the NFL. The Rams got the player they so desperately needed to make their new defensive scheme work. Ramsey landed the money and respect he so desperately wanted.
While the path to the deal was not an obvious one, anyone who knows the complexity of the NFL Salary Cap knows that there are always options to free up money. And the fact that Ramsey’s contract had a $13 million cap footprint before the extension gave both sides plenty of wiggle room to strike up a new extension.
49ers sports writer stuck his nose in
That’s where the story should have ended. But 49ers sports writer Brian Witt of NBCSports.com saw an opportunity to muddy the waters a bit. On May 26, 2020, he began his article about the LA Rams contract situation over Jalen Ramsey like this:
“The Los Angeles Rams are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and it’s unlikely to get any more comfortable any time soon.
Forget the fact that they’ve been passed up by the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West. Ignore the fact that they’re spending nearly $30 million in dead money this coming season to have running back Todd Gurley and receiver Brandin Cooks play for other teams.” – Brian Witt, NBC Sports
The article goes downhill from there. He dives into the fact that the Rams made poor decisions and would therefore plunge to the depths of the NFC West and the NFL overall.
Words that will haunt the 49ers
Witt ended his tirade with the words that will haunt him this year. In this final passing shot at the 49ers rival, the LA Rams, he declares them no longer relevant to the NFC West for the foreseeable future.
(roster moves) appear likely to put the Rams in the NFC West cellar, and to keep them there for the foreseeable future.” Brian Witt, NBC Sports
The amount of disrespect that some sports media tried to bury the LA Rams under this offseason was unfathomable. The future is not a prewritten script that is handed to the NFL administration to approve and follow. The LA Rams have never had a losing season under head coach Sean McVay. In fact, despite being ravaged with injuries and restocking the roster on the fly, the Rams remained in playoff contention until very late in the season.
A 49ers writer scoffed at the Rams – Ramsey situation before a deal was finalized, pronouncing the Rams would end up on the short end no matter how the matter was resolved. Well, it’s been resolved. Jalen Ramsey will play for the LA Rams for the foreseeable future. And the 4-1 LA Rams can bury the 2-3 San Francisco 49ers a little deeper into the NFC West cellar.
I hope the Rams do so. I think the 49ers are a talented team. Unfortunately, some lessons need to be learned by many who trolled the NFL last year. Professor Jalen Ramsey, school is in session. Let the education process begin!