After growing frustrated with reporters and briefly walking out during a videoconference Tuesday, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey stated clearly that he is not spending time concerned about a contract extension as he enters the final season of his rookie deal.
“I’m worried about what I can worry about,” Ramsey said after initially avoiding a pointed question regarding his contract situation. “I’m controlling what I can control.”
The No. 5 pick in 2016, Ramsey is scheduled to earn $13.7 million this season.
It’s expected the All-Pro cornerback is on track to earn a record-breaking extension after the Rams traded two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire him last October.
When asked Tuesday whether it felt important to him to have a new contract signed before the season opener in September, Ramsey responded, “My agent and the front office, they’ll handle all that.”
When asked the same question in a follow-up, Ramsey provided the same answer, then added a quick quip, “C’mon now… You got to take the answer I give you, man!”
A third attempted follow-up about how he felt regarding his contract situation resulted in Ramsey cutting off the question.
“I answered it: I said my agent and the front office, they gonna handle it,” Ramsey said. “I’m worried about what I can worry about, I’m controlling what I can control… Either accept the answer or keep it pushing. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but that’s the answer.”
Lol I love the Rams PR & media that cover the team. They pushed me today for an answer about my contract 😂😂..The only answer I geniuly have is that I DONT KNOW!! I can say that I have the best agent in the game tho @DavidMulugheta & I can also say that God’s timing is the best!
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) August 4, 2020
A brief pause in questions resulted in Ramsey walking out of the videoconference for more than two minutes before a Rams public relations person persuaded him to return.
Ramsey then launched into a passionate 2-minute, 20-second monologue about his contract situation.
“I told y’all at the beginning of this, I said I’m controlling what I can control and when you asked me the question about my contract, I said I’m letting my agent, who is by far the best agent in the game, David Mulugheta, and the front office handle it,” Ramsey said. “I can’t do anything about it. I’m not worried about it. I’m trying to do my job as a football player. I’m trying to be a leader on the team, I’m not gonna do every Zoom session or however we gonna do them this year, talking about my contract. Look, if it comes, it comes. It’s gonna be a surprise to me like it’s gonna be a surprise to y’all …”
Ramsey added that he told his agent in August that he did not want to field any calls regarding his contract until a deal was in place.
“I said I want you to call me one time, I said, when my deal is done. I said, When you feel like my deal is done, call me. That’s it,” Ramsey said. “I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about football. I’m worried about other things in my life, like my blessings will come when they come, like I got all my trust in God, so when I give y’all an answer, that’s the answer.”
Ramsey is expected to hold the upper hand in negotiations after the Rams’ trade of 2020 and 2021 first-round picks and a 2021 fourth-round pick to acquire him.
Earlier this week, Rams coach Sean McVay said there was no update to provide on contract negotiations for Ramsey or for receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson, who also are entering the final season of their rookie deals.
“Obviously those guys are instrumental parts of what we want to do,” McVay said. “I’m just making sure I know what the heck I’m doing next after this right now, negotiating through the days.”
Rams general manager Les Snead has previously acknowledged the price the Rams paid to acquire Ramsey, indicating that it would be ideal for the team to reach a long-term extension with him.
Snead, however, declined on Monday to provide any details regarding Ramsey’s contract situation.
“We’ll keep the intimacy of those details with the players — let’s call it contracts that are expiring this year — we’ll keep those in-house,” Snead said, adding later, “We do have a very healthy relationship with, specifically… with Jalen’s agent, David Mulugheta.”
The four players drafted ahead of Ramsey in 2016 — Rams quarterback Jared Goff, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott — have each signed long-term extensions, all of which included record-breaking terms, with their teams.
Considered a premier lockdown cornerback, Ramsey has intercepted 10 passes and has 49 pass deflections in 59 career starts.