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Rams extend Jalen Ramsey, Cardinals extend DeAndre Hopkins on eve of new season

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

With the new season just a day away, teams are wrapping up offseason business and finishing contract talks before the focus turns solely to football. For two of the Seahawks’ NFC West rivals, the conclusion of offseason business led to two massive new deals hitting their books, as the Rams extended cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Wednesday, just a day after the Cardinals finalized an extension for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins, who had three years remaining on his existing contract, signed a two-year extension worth $54.5 million with $42.5 million fully guaranteed. The extension ties him to Arizona through the 2024 season and includes no-trade and no-tag clauses. The extension brings Hopkins’ annual average up to $18.8 million, just behind Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen, and Amari Cooper.

The extension Hopkins signed with the Cardinals was negotiated himself, a trend started by former Seahawks Richard Sherman and Russell Okung. Last offseason, Bobby Wagner negotiated his record-setting extension himself and then was credited with helping Laremy Tunsil negotiate his own with the Texans earlier this year.

The extension between the Rams and Ramsey was inevitable, with head coach Sean McVay saying earlier in the offseason that Ramsey was the type of player who would “re-set the cornerback market.” He did just that on Wednesday morning, agreeing to a five-year extension worth $105 million, with $72.1 million fully guaranteed.

Ramsey’s deal with Los Angeles is the latest in what will prove to be a costly trend for the Seahawks, who traded away two first-round picks for Jamal Adams in July. The last three players to be acquired at a cost of two firsts (Ramsey, Tunsil, and Khalil Mack) blew away the previous highs at their position in annual average, helped by the leverage that comes with such a steep trade cost.

With no contract extension between the Seahawks and Adams until next offseason, his cost is only going to continue to rise with several elite safeties in line to be paid between now and then. It will no doubt be worth it, but it’s certainly something Seattle will closely be watching between now and then.

For Arizona and the Rams, their newly acquired elite talent is locked up for years to come.