It’s not a matter of if the marriage between Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars will end. It’s now a matter of when it will happen.
There is plenty to unpack after watching and listening to Jalen Ramsey speak to the media on Tuesday afternoon, the day after several media outlets reported that the superstar cornerback wanted a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Pro Bowl player stated he did not want to be a distraction to his teammates, which continued to be a distraction given the Jaguars line up against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. All that’s being written is about which team might try to acquire Ramsey rather than the importance of this game for the 0-2 Jaguars, a ball club trying to remain relevant in the AFC South.
Let’s be clear about this. Ramsey’s decision to ask for a trade isn’t shocking. The relationship between player and team, from appearances and actions, hasn’t been the most stable. The verbal altercation between the former first-round draft pick and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone last Sunday during the 13-12 loss at Houston was the straw that broke the camel’s back many believe.
Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on in this situation, both parties must take some blame in this soon-to-be divorce.
It’s difficult to think the Jaguars, a team that is 2-14 in their last 16 ball games, would trade a generational player like Ramsey, but the narrative and lack of communication dictates a split.
Ramsey wants to win football games. He is the best player at his position in the NFL. There’s no denying it after watching the game Sunday and how he neutralized Texans wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins.
But the lack of communication between player and coach this week, and the front office fielding offers from NFL teams shows this sideshow is becoming the story of this organization, not winning football games.
We can only speculate all of the reasons why Ramsey has asked to leave Jacksonville. Money, because he has not been offered a new contract as of yet. His displeasure with the coaching staff and how he is being used on the field. Management for not paying him what he feels he deserves. Not getting deals done for his teammates. There could be others.
The Jaguars made the announcement prior to the NFL draft that the organization would pick up the fifth-year option of Ramsey’s rookie deal. After making a little over $3.6 million this year, the former FSU star will make $13.7 million next year – provided he stays in black and teal. The move gives Jacksonville a chance to work out a deal presumably with Ngakoue and gives the team more time to determine how to keep a nucleus of young players on this roster.
Not having Ramsey on this roster, if or when a trade should happen, reduces the visibility of this franchise. Not only is he one of the best players in the NFL, but he is also one of the most controversial and one of the most polarizing. I learned a long time ago that there are times when any news, even bad news, is a good thing because it has people reading and following you. Such is the case with the Jaguars.
Such is the team in Jacksonville that looked to be on the brink of becoming the next big thing in the NFL two seasons ago, and has fallen on harder times than any of us would have expected.
The Jaguars need Ramsey the player but they don’t need the controversy and antics that go along with him. And as a local media said on the radio on Tuesday following His comments, this has almost become a situation where it is a Ramsey vs. Marrone battle.
It should never have gotten to this point.
Fans are going to take sides. It’s human nature. They’re going to want what’s best for the team they follow and the players they love to watch. You can find comments for and against the situation on social media, and there have been plenty. There are those who defend Ramsey and his actions and there are those who are staunchly against it.
The same thing holds true for the Jaguars and how they’ve handled the situation.
The bottom line is there really isn’t a winner here. As he said, Ramsey is still a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars for now, and he also said he’s happy about that. If he is not traded before tomorrow night, he will play against Tennessee Titans, defensive coordinator Todd Wash already stated that.
But after Thursday, this soap opera which grows bigger by the minute will continue to gain traction.
Disgruntled players and their demand to treated with kid gloves have become the way of professional sports. We’ve already seen that this season in the NFL with players like Ezekiel Elliott and Antonio Brown. Add Ramsey to this list.
Like him, dislike him, or don’t have a feeling one way or the other, this situation must come to an end.
At some point, in the next few days or at the end of the season or after the 2020 season, Jacksonville is going to lose one of the best players in franchise history.
I wonder if we discuss the great plays he made on the field, as the thing we remember about him, or will it be a relationship that was murky from the start four years ago and has lead to the events of the past few days?