Tue May 26 6:42pm ET
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey celebrates the team's win over the Chicago Bears in an NFL football game in Los Angeles. Ramsey says he wont hold out as he heads into the final year of his rookie contract and his first full season with the Rams. After a tumultuous tenure in Jacksonville, the star cornerback sounds content in Los Angeles and eager to play new roles on defense. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) Jalen Ramsey says he will definitely report to training camp with the Los Angeles Rams for the final year of his rookie contract.
And while he didn't confirm how he'll get there, Ramsey probably won't feel the need to show up in an armored bank truck this time.
The Rams have said they realize Ramsey deserves to be one of the NFL's highest-paid cornerbacks ever since they acquired him from Jacksonville last season.
In turn, Ramsey has done everything possible to be worthy of a megadeal, receiving his third Pro Bowl nod last fall before earning his coaches' trust and praise during the current offseason.
It all adds up to strong optimism on both sides while Ramsey's representatives work on his long-term deal with the Rams.
''It will get handled,'' Ramsey said Tuesday in a video conference call.
''The Rams know where I stand, and that's all that matters,'' he added. ''They've been in contact with my agent. They're on the same page. They know what's up. I know what's up. ... Everybody knew what type of situation it was going to be once they traded for me. I think it doesn't need to be talked about that much. It'll get handled.''
Rather than going after his next contract with the passion that prompted him to show up at Jaguars camp last fall in a bank truck, Ramsey is spending more time working on his burgeoning bond with new Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.
Rather than isolating Ramsey as a seldom-targeted shutdown corner, Staley indicated last week that the former Florida State safety could play all over the secondary for Los Angeles next season.
Ramsey doesn't want to give away the Rams' plans, but he's up for the challenges ahead.
''I'm very excited about the way I'm going to be utilized in this defense,'' Ramsey said. ''I'll leave it at that. I think my talents will be shown thoroughly.''
Ramsey didn't get his big contract from the Jaguars, who drafted him in 2016 and watched him become an All-Pro a year later. After his tongue-in-cheek armored truck stunt didn't work, he requested a trade several weeks later.
Ramsey's clashes with Tom Coughlin and the Jags' front office are only a bad memory now. The Rams have nothing but praise for their defensive centerpiece alongside Aaron Donald, and they seem eager to lock up the long-term future of a player who cost them two first-round draft picks in the trade.
Byron Jones became the NFL's highest-paid cornerback in March when he agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million deal including $57 million guaranteed with the Miami Dolphins. Ramsey's deal likely will eclipse Jones' contract, and the Rams aren't shy about making big commitments: general manager Les Snead has recently re-signed players to the biggest contracts ever given to a quarterback, a running back and a defensive player.
''There's a lot of dialogue'' between Ramsey's agents and the Rams, coach Sean McVay said.
''What I can speak on is how impressed I've been with Jalen, the leadership I'm watching him take from afar,'' McVay said. ''When he came in, I was so impressed with him at first. But now you're actually able to have a foundation ... and this is a really impressive guy. You really get a feel for his football acumen, and how much he's able to understand and absorb.''
Ramsey has already formed a solid bond with Staley, the Rams' rookie coordinator. They're speaking over the phone about three times per day, and Staley is eagerly exploring new ways to use Ramsey's talents.
''I love coaching this guy,'' Staley said last week. ''One of the unique parts about this whole thing is the relationship that I've been able to form with him in a short time. This guy has been really, really fun to work with. He's got a high capacity to learn, he's got a high capacity to lead. This game means a lot to him. His craft, his focus, his commitment, I couldn't be more impressed with this guy.''
May 14th: Draft Values
Cincinnati Bengals S Vonn Bell hurried the quarterback on 37.9 percent of his pass rushes as a member of the New Orleans Saints in 2019 - the highest rate among all defensive backs with at least 20 pass rushes. Additionally, his pressure rate of 41.4 percent was the second-highest mark among all defensive backs with at least 20 pass rushes.
New York Jets CB Brian Poole hurried the quarterback on 33.3 percent of his pass rushes in 2019 - the third-highest rate among all defensive backs with at least 20 pass rushes. Additionally, his pressure rate of 40.7 percent was also the third-highest mark among all defensive backs with at least 20 pass rushes.
Washington Redskins CB Kendall Fuller hurried the quarterback on 28.6 9 percent of his pass rushes as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 - the third-highest rate among cornerbacks with at least 20 pass rushes. Additionally, his pressure rate of 38.1 percent was also the third-highest mark among cornerbacks with at least 20 pass rushes.
Baltimore Ravens S Chuck Clark finished in a tie for first among defensive backs with 78 pass rushes in 2019. He also rushed the passer on 18.1 percent of his 432 passing snaps - the highest percentage by any defensive back in the league with at least 20 rush opportunities.
New York Jets S Jamal Adams finished in a tie for first among defensive backs with 78 pass rushes in 2019. His sack percentage of 8.3 was also the best among defensive backs with more than 50 pass rushes.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley hauled in 63 of 75 catchable targets and scored seven touchdowns in 2019. Additionally, Atlanta quarterbacks enjoyed a passer rating of 114.7 when throwing in his direction - the 11th-best passer rating for any receiver or tight end with at least 50 targets. The passer rating mark was lower than it was when Ridley was a rookie in 2018; he finished eighth among receivers and tight ends with at least 50 targets at 119.9.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is hosting teammates for informal workouts in Florida next week. Many of Jackson's teammates are expected to be there, including wide receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. While NFL teams were recently given permission to reopen their facilities, it is still closed to players and coaches. The Ravens were the highest-scoring offense in the league last season and will be returning most of the key components on the offensive side of the ball. Boykin stated that there are also plans for additional workouts beyond next week. Jackson is primed to be the first quarterback selected in fantasy drafts this year.
Houston Texans WR Kenny Stills caught 40 of 45 catchable targets and scored four touchdowns in 2019. Additionally, quarterbacks enjoyed a passer rating of 124.1 when throwing in his direction - the fifth-best passer rating for any receiver or tight end with at least 50 targets.
New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook caught 43 of 52 catchable targets and scored a career-high nine touchdowns in 2019. Additionally, quarterbacks enjoyed a passer rating of 137.0 when throwing in his direction - the best passer rating for any receiver or tight end with at least 50 targets.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold was accurate on 52 percent of his throws that traveled more than five yards downfield in 2019. Every other qualified quarterback was 57.1 percent accurate on similar throws.
Fantasy Spin: This is the kind of thing that can happen to a quarterback when he has to deal with the combination of receivers not getting open quickly enough and the offensive line failing to hold up. Fortunately, he had Jamison Crowder to help him out with the short stuff, as the duo hooked up 70 times in the 13 games Darnold played. With the Jets making serious upgrades all along the offensive line, drafting Denzel Mims and getting Chris Herndon back, look for Darnold to be a solid fantasy QB2 in 2020.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones has recorded 286 receptions that have resulted in first downs or touchdowns since 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. Jones trailed only Michael Thomas (299) for the most over that span.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas has recorded an NFL-best 299 receptions that resulted in first downs or touchdowns since entering the league in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus.
Detroit Lions cornerback James Agnew has been the team's regular kick and punt returner since he entered the league in 2017, has seen time as a gadget running back and offensive weapon and has played as a backup cornerback and on special teams. But the Lions are hoping to make him a wide receiver full time when training camp starts this summer. Agnew has been attending virtual meetings with the receivers and cornerbacks this spring, but the Lions plan to transition him exclusively to offense when everyone returns to the field. He actually sat in on late-season receiver meetings last year because of injuries to Marvin Jones and Marvin Hall. Agnew played 16 total offensive snaps last season, but he should see much more time with the offense in 2020 as receiver depth behind Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, Jones and Hall. Even with the position switch, he'll likely be on the roster bubble.
Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (XFL) wants to return to the NFL for the 2020 season and is patiently waiting for his chance. 'I think about it every day,' said Johnson. 'I'm waiting for the opportunity call from the NFL. ... One thing I've learned in the NFL, trying to stick around (requires) patience. You never know when an opportunity is going to come. So I just have to stay ready, and don't let nothing bring it down because I might get the call at Week 1 or I might get the call at Week 16.' Johnson played for 13 NFL teams across 12 seasons before joining the LA Wildcats of the now-bankrupt XFL.
Seattle Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde is expected to complement RB Chris Carson with early-down work in 2020, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
Fantasy Spin: Hyde won't begin the 2020 campaign with much fantasy value after totaling 1,112 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns with the Houston Texans a year ago. Both Carson and Rashaad Penny are superior fantasy options when all three are healthy.
New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (neck) says that he won't be ready to play by Week 1 of the regular season. I cant speak to exactly when Im going to be ready, but it will not be day one," Flacco said. That means that Jets will likely have to carry David Fales or fourth-round pick James Morgan until Flacco is ready to go. Flacco started the first eight games for the Denver Broncos last season, but then missed the rest of the season after suffering a neck injury. It appears he has not fully recovered yet, so who knows when Flacco will be back.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson will gain a better understanding of the offense during his first full offseason with the team, according to offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. 'A lot of this stuff that we're covering right now, it's the first time (Johnson and David Johnson) really being able to kind of hear it in-depth and it's really, really good.'
Fantasy Spin: Johnson took a backseat to Carlos Hyde for much of the 2019 season and finished his first season with the Texans with 410 rushing yards and 410 receiving yards with five total touchdowns across 16 games after being acquired from the Cleveland Browns last offseason. He's likely to see limited usage behind David Johnson this season and won't begin the campaign with any fantasy value in standard redraft leagues.
The New Orleans Saints officially signed linebacker Anthony Chickillo on Tuesday. In a corresponding move, the team placed pass-rusher Noah Spence (knee) on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list because he tore his ACL preparing for training camp this summer. Chickillo, a former sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 2015, had just 19 tackles (nine solo) and half a sack in 11 games for the Steelers in 2019. The 27-year-old defensive end has just 7.5 sacks in his five seasons and will be pass-rushing depth for the Saints. Spence was a second-round bust of the Buccaneers and had one sack in seven games for the Redskins in 2019.
New York Jets QB Joe Flacco (neck) said Tuesday, May 26, on SiriusXM NFL Radio he won't be ready for the season opener following offseason surgery. 'I can't speak to exactly when I'm going to be ready, but it will not be Day 1,' Flacco said. Rich Cimini of ESPN expects Flacco to debut for the Jets in mid-September.
Updating a previous story, New Orleans Saints DE Noah Spence (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, May 26, due to a torn ACL suffered while preparing for training camp.