Dolphins CB Jalen Ramsey embraces Super Bowl expectations as Miami’s latest splash addition
The occasion called for a bold entrance. So on Wednesday, Jalen Ramsey took a trip to Design District, with an abundance of shops stocked with luxury fashion to finish piecing his outfit together.
When he arrived at the Baptist Health Training Complex on Thursday, the cream Gucci suit jacket, Hublot watch on his left wrist and diamond chain with his initials around his neck were befitting the Dolphins’ new brash, uberconfident cornerback.
There was no broad proclamation during his approximately 30-minute introductory news conference with local reporters — nothing that came close to his Super Bowl guarantee in 2018 as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But there was a sharp confidence present from Ramsey, the 28-year-old All-Pro and Super Bowl winner who said he’s just hoping to be a “piece of the puzzle” to a young Dolphins team that has championship aspirations of their own after another splash acquisition.
Miami hopes Ramsey is a big piece of that puzzle, though. The Dolphins traded a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long for Ramsey and restructured his contract to ensure he is part of a core that could possibly contend for the AFC championship and even more. He’s part of a revamped secondary that includes former Detroit Lions safety DeShon Elliott, who agreed to a one-year deal, and returning players such as cornerback Xavien Howard and safety Jevon Holland.
A few weeks ago, Ramsey was informed that the Los Angeles Rams, reeling from a 5-12 season and dire cap situation after their Super Bowl victory, were making some changes to the roster. That included intentions to part ways with Ramsey, who helped anchor a devastating defense for the past three-plus years.
As Ramsey, who also sought to have more money guaranteed on the final three years of his deal, sat down with his representation and listed the pros and cons of the teams he could go to, Miami emerged as a perfect fit for him.
There was the young talent on defense. “On paper, this is the best [secondary] that I’ve been a part of,” he said.
Being back in Florida — he starred at Florida State — and the Tennessee native living closer to his family.
Not to mention the warm weather and no state tax. “That’s always a plus,” he said.
By Sunday, the Dolphins agreed to trade for Ramsey, the latest blockbuster move for a team that has also added wide receiver Tyreek Hill and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb in the last year.
“Miami stayed at the top of my list from the jump,” Ramsey said. “I started praying about it and I started to visualize [it].”
In the past 24 hours, Ramsey has gotten ingratiated with South Florida, getting a tour of the team’s facility from his new cornerback partner Howard — Ramsey referred to the two as “Evil twin” and “Good twin” — and then attending the Miami Heat’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Miami-Dade Arena.
There’s comfort and familiarity not only with Howard — the two were taken in the 2016 Draft and Ramsey attended Howard’s Pro Day, connected by receiver Corey Coleman — but with other players on the defense, who he already knows or shares an agent with. On the field, he’s played in a similar scheme as the one the Dolphins will run under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. He’s looking forward to ironing out the terminology and chemistry with new teammates — and matching up with an equally dynamic duo in receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
“I line up, whoever comes up here [is] gonna get it,” he said. “X is the same way. Whoever comes up there, we’re going to go at it. That’s how we’re wired.”
For the second consecutive time, Ramsey joins a team making big moves to acquire blue-chip talent in the hopes of powering its way to a Super Bowl.
Does Ramsey pay attention to the noise that comes with the notable moves of his new squad?
“You embrace all of it,” he said. “Whether it’s heightened expectations or whether they thought we weren’t going to do nothing at all. I think you embrace all of it. ... I’ve dealt with it in my individual career. I’ve dealt with it with team success. It doesn’t bother me. it’s just another tool you can use as a motivating factor if you need to, want to.”