Minicamp Day 1: Ramsey makes news, sets tone

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JACKSONVILLE – Jalen Ramsey broke news Tuesday.

He also set a tone for the season, discussed newsworthy teammates and made a few things clear.

That made Ramsey’s first Jaguars appearance of the 2019 offseason notable, with the All-Pro cornerback making public the news that the team does not plan to extend his rookie contract this offseason.

“I’ve been let know that I won’t be getting a contract extension,” Ramsey said shortly after Day 1 practice at 2019 Jaguars minicamp Tuesday at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.

“I will not be getting a contract extension this year. Y’all (the media) take it however y’all may want to take that.”

Ramsey, who did not attend the voluntary portion of the offseason program that included organized team activities the past three weeks, said his agent and the team have “had dialogue” about his contract. The Jaguars earlier this offseason exercised a fifth-year option on his rookie contract ensuring that they can keep him under contract through the 2020 season.

“As long as I’m a part of this organization, as long as I’m a part of Duval County, I’m going to give the city and the players all I’ve got,” said Ramsey, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons. “I think y’all know that – that I’ve fought through injuries, I’ve fought through everything and haven’t missed a game.”

Ramsey also expressed support for Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who is not attending minicamp because he has not received a contract extension.

“I think I’m in a similar situation to Yann where I feel like I have outplayed my rookie contract,” he said. “I feel I’ve earned a new contract, but at the end of the day it’s not the end of the world. I’m tremendously blessed. I’m not down or anything like that at all, but that is the circumstance and that’s what I’ve been told.”

Added Ramsey of Ngakoue, “I think he has earned a contract. I think he deserves it. It’s something his team and the Jags will have to figure out. I hope they can figure it out because I definitely want him a part of this team. We’ve built something special.

“There are a few guys who came in, changed the culture and made things possible; he’s definitely one of them.”

Ramsey also expressed support for teammate Telvin Smith, with whom Ramsey also played at Florida State University. Smith last month announced he didn’t plan to play in 2019.

“That’s my brother since Day One,” Ramsey said. “He has full support from me. He knows that. I wish people would leave him alone a little bit. Of course we all love football dearly, but that is not everything. He has a life. He’s enjoying himself.

“He’s doing what he feels is right and has the right mind frame. I just want everybody to be supportive, and I know I definitely am.”

Ramsey was asked if he had received an explanation from the team regarding his contract.

“The money’s always there,” he said. “That’s all I’ll say about it. I’m happy to be here. I want to be part of the team.”

This week’s minicamp is the only mandatory work of the NFL offseason. Ramsey rather than attend OTAs trained with his father in Nashville, Tennessee, as he did last offseason.

“It’s all what works for you,” he said. “I’ve found that that works for me. I’ve been able to stay healthy. The first two years I was getting hurt during the voluntary stuff. I’m not blaming that anybody, so don’t write that.

“It’s more a credit to the team I have around me and myself. I truly know my body better than anybody else. My team has been able to help me learn my body more and they know my body as well. It’s how I go about things. There are definitely other ways to get the results you want.”

Ramsey also discussed rookie defensive end Josh Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, saying that he considered Allen the best player in the draft.

“I got to see him when he was in Orlando for his bowl game [Citrus] and he had three sacks. After the game, his swag and his whole demeanor about it … he was like, ‘If I’m not the No. 1 overall pick, then I don’t know who will be.’”

Ramsey laughed and added, “That’s me right there. Y’all know I love that. That type of mentality as well as doing it out there on the field is what I’m all about. I think he’ll fit in well.”

Ramsey began his meeting with the media with a statement about his approach entering his fourth NFL season, saying that he wanted to be a more complete player but that he wouldn’t force a leadership role.

“Once you get to Year Four people kind of expect you to put yourself in a leadership role,” Ramsey said. “My feeling on that is always that that’s not something you can force. I want to continue being myself, being even more supportive of my teammates as I can be and leading behind the scenes and by actions more so than breaking down the team and giving speeches.

“That’s not how I view leadership. There are different ways to lead.”

Images as the Jaguars took the field for the first day of mandatory minicamp.

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