Jalen Ramsey's 5th-Year Contract Option Picked Up by Jaguars

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 23: Jalen Ramsey #20 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars will pick up the fifth-year option in Jalen Ramsey's rookie deal, general manager David Caldwell confirmed Wednesday, per John Oehser of the Jaguars' official website.

Ramsey will now be under contract with the Jaguars through the 2020 season. According to The Athletic's Daniel Popper, Caldwell said the team will wait until after April's draft before contemplating a long-term extension for the 24-year-old cornerback.

Ramsey reached his second straight Pro Bowl in 2018. He finished the season with 65 combined tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes defended.

The Jags performed well below expectations a year after reaching the AFC Championship Game. They went 5-11 and benched quarterback Blake Bortles in November. Jacksonville's defense hardly deserved much blame, though, for the team's inability to reach the postseason.

The Jaguars allowed 195 yards per game, second-fewest in the NFL, and ranked sixth in defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders.

While Ramsey is a critical part of the secondary, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in November the Jaguars were at least open to the possibility of trading him. The team denied the report in a statement to Schefter.

Triggering Ramsey's fifth-year option doesn't necessarily preclude Jacksonville from dealing him down the line. Caldwell now has even more time to gauge Ramsey's trade market and see what he might be able to get back in return.

Of course, that option also buys the Jaguars more time to negotiate an extension, one that would likely make Ramsey among the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league.