No just pocket change: Jalen Ramsey putting costly number switch on hold
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey considered changing numbers last week, wanting to switch from 20 to 23.
Then he found out what it would cost.
Ramsey said Saturday he would have to buy every No. 20 jersey on the market before making the swap, which surely would have cost him six figures.
“I would have to pay a nice amount of money to get all those 20 jerseys out there,” Ramsey said. “We’ll see about next year.”
Ramsey is now counting on the franchise redesigning its Nike uniforms in 2018, which could allow him to make the number change for free or at least at a considerably cheaper price.
Ramsey wore Nos. 13 and 8 at Florida State (he also donned No. 17 as a kick returner), but league rules prohibit him from wearing any of those in the NFL. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Ramsey started his pro career wearing No. 38 before switching to No. 20. Signed as a Jordan Brand athlete, Ramsey really wanted Michael Jordan’s famed No. 23, but safety James Sample refused to give it up.
Sample was cut last week, freeing up No. 23 and prompting Ramsey’s inquiries. It ended up being a brief conversation.
Ramsey quickly moved on, focusing on getting back up to speed after missing about half of organized team activities with a core muscle injury. He opted for surgery in June and opened training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
The team removed Ramsey from the list Saturday, and he practiced on a limited basis for the first time in more than two months.
“It’s not frustrating,” said Ramsey, who led all rookies with 14 passes defensed in 2016. “Of course, I’d rather be playing, but it’s all a process. It’s a part of my growth as a football player. I have to get my body right. I don’t look at it as a setback at all. I look at it as just me revamping my body, seeing my body better to be back out there and being a better 20 this year.”
Defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and right tackle Jeremy Parnell also returned to practice Saturday after missing the preseason opener at New England with injuries.
The Jaguars signed Bouye to a five-year, $67.5 million contract in free agency in hopes of pairing him with Ramsey and having one of the league’s top coverage tandems.
“It will be nice when we can put the whole gang together,” Ramsey said. “We haven’t gotten to that point yet. … We’re going to be ready for opening day. I can’t talk about day-to-day, but I’ll let you know that we’ll be ready for that. I’ll promise you that.”