10/16 17:12 CDT Ramsey 'overjoyed' by LA move; Rams eager for long-term deal
Ramsey 'overjoyed' by LA move; Rams eager for long-term deal
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) --- The Los Angeles Rams fully understand the risks
they took in acquiring volatile cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The defending NFC champions believe the potential rewards are well worth it.
"You want guys with some swag, some personality," coach Sean McVay said
Wednesday while he awaited the star cornerback's arrival at their training
complex. "As long as those guys love football, they love competing every single
day, I think this is a building that will suit him well."
Ramsey flew to the West Coast on Wednesday, a day after Los Angeles traded two
first-round picks and a fourth-rounder for an elite defender whose tumultuous
tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't last four full seasons.
On his Uninterrupted podcast on SiriusXM's app, Ramsey pronounced himself
"overjoyed" to be with the Rams, and eager to "show them that they got the best
corner in the whole NFL for years and years to come."
The Rams are sold on Ramsey's talent --- and convinced of their own ability to
channel it into a big role on a winning team. General manager Les Snead said he
has already spoken to Ramsey's representatives about his future beyond his
current contract, which ends in 2020, and that both sides were encouraged by
"We actually did talk to his representatives and give our long-term view, and
(get) his," Snead said. "We did put a little bit of a timeline in place. I
don't want to give too many details on that, but we're just meeting Jalen
today. He has earned a chance to probably get a nice contract for the job he
does and the position he plays."
Ramsey agrees, as he demonstrated in July when he showed up to training camp
with the Jaguars in an armored bank truck. The Rams have time to figure out a
number that works for both --- but they have less time to turn around a season
that has stalled.
McVay is hopeful Ramsey will play Sunday at Atlanta when the Rams (3-3) attempt
to end their first three-game losing streak since 2016, although the corner
will need a medical exam first. Ramsey missed the Jaguars' last three games
with a back injury but returned to practice recently.
"You know the caliber of player that he is --- the competitiveness, the
toughness," McVay said. "Really all the traits that you look for in a corner.
Looking forward to getting to know the player and figuring out how he's going
to help this football team."
Although Ramsey won't be rushed, the Rams need reinforcements in their
secondary. Along with starting cornerback Marcus Peters' departure in a trade
to Baltimore on Tuesday, the Rams put two starters in their secondary ---
cornerback Aqib Talib and safety John Johnson --- on injured reserve this week.
Even in their depleted state, the Rams felt Ramsey was too good to pass up.
Peters and Talib will be unrestricted free agents after this season, and the
Rams were more interested in getting Ramsey than in retaining Peters.
"There's only a handful of players like that, and he happens to be one of
them," Snead said of Ramsey. "Not saying that there's not a lot of good corners
out there, but since he's been in the league, he's shown the ability to get out
on an island."
Snead and the Rams have a reputation for rewarding their elite players: In the
past two years, they've handed out the largest contracts in NFL history for a
defensive tackle (Aaron Donald), a running back (Todd Gurley) and a quarterback
(Jared Goff), and they gave a huge extension to receiver Brandin Woods before
he played his first game for Los Angeles last year.
Snead is aware of Ramsey's contentious reputation after he repeatedly clashed
with coaches, the front office and opponents during his tenure in Jacksonville.
Los Angeles hasn't hesitated to acquire players with similar reputations ---
like Peters and Talib, for instance --- but has had no public problems with
them in McVay's system.
"When you do research on it, the first thing I want to know is, do they love
football?" Snead said. "Is this the chapter they're focused on? And do they
love winning? Ultimately, we're all going to go through some situations (and)
you're going to have some outbursts, but a lot of times, with the research, it
was maybe because of a loss or a bad play or things like that. These are young
kids, so they don't have the emotional intelligence that I've acquired, but
probably didn't have at Jalen's age."
Quarterback Blake Bortles and pass rusher Dante Fowler, two fellow top-five
picks by the Jaguars now playing for the Rams, both spoke highly of Ramsey's
work ethic and professionalism, McVay said.
Ramsey's arrival was just part of a tumultuous week for the Rams, who traded
Peters to the Ravens in part to clear the salary cap room necessary to acquire
Ramsey. Snead was conflicted by the move, calling Peters "one of the most
authentic human beings I've ever met."
Peters drove more than 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles to Thousand Oaks to
say farewell to the coaches and front-office personnel after getting news of
the trade Tuesday.
NOTES: S Marqui Christian is likely to replace Johnson alongside Eric Weddle in
the starting lineup, while Troy Hill and Darious Williams will be the Rams'
starting cornerbacks at Atlanta if Ramsey doesn't play. ... David Edwards, a
rookie fifth-round pick from Wisconsin who hasn't taken an offensive snap this
season, is expected to start at left guard Sunday in place of Joe Noteboom, who
has a season-ending knee injury. Jamil Demby was Noteboom's backup, but hasn't
impressed this season.
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