New Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is expected to sign a four-year contract worth roughly $23.36 million. Jaguars second-year safety James Sample is currently on a four-year deal worth $2.82 million. When you factor in endorsements and things of that nature, Ramsey is set to make quite a bit more money than Sample. However, Sample does possess something very, very valuable to Ramsey—his jersey number.
Sample currently wears No. 23, and Ramsey has made it abundantly clear he would like to rock those digits. Though Ramsey wore No. 8 at Florida State, he expressed interest in switching to No. 23 last month:
Hopefully I can wear 23 in the league
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) April 15, 2016
Ramsey's current number is 38, a number he clearly isn't thrilled with:
Part of Ramsey's desire to wear 23 likely stems from the fact he recently signed a major endorsement with Jordan Brand, whose namesake (Michael Jordan) wore 23 during his legendary career. It's not uncommon for players to exchange exorbitant sums in the pursuit of uniform numbers. When Darrelle Revis joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, he paid Mark Barron $50,000 to secure No. 24. When Deion Sanders joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1995, he gave Alundis Brice a brand new BMW 325i for the right to wear No. 21.
Ramsey recently told Jaguars.com he was willing to give up "shoes, cash, everything" to get No. 23 from Sample. However, there are indications that negotiations have not been going well. Sample recently retweeted this tweet:
Apparently, the number 23 occupies a place in Sample's heart for its relation to his hometown of Del Paso Heights, California (a neighborhood within Sacramento):
— james sample jr (@phenom2323) May 6, 2016
If Ramsey wants to wear No. 23 for the Jaguars, he will have to make Sample an offer he can't refuse.
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