The Jacksonville Jaguars seemed to have everything figured out in 2016.
They had star running back Leonard Fournette and the best defense in the NFL. They even had a solid QB in Blake Bortles who could manage a game and occasionally put up some points. Where did it all go wrong? How did they get to the point where their young star cornerback wants out?
It all started with Allen. Robinson, that is.
The wide receiver became a free agent following the Jaguars’ AFC Championship exit. Because he was hurt that year and Jacksonville was able to win without him, it seemed that the Jags didn’t need the wideout. But, in reality, they did. They let him walk to Chicago, where Chicago proceeded to make the playoffs by winning the NFC North.
What happened to Jacksonville? They crumbled. Blake Bortles began to show his true colors, Leonard Fournette suffered a sophomore slump, and the defense took a few steps back. Is this all because they failed to resign Robinson? No, of course not, but it certainly didn’t help.
So here we are. Jalen Ramsey used the “flu” excuse to miss practice this week. Last week he requested a trade. And the Jags are using a rookie, backup QB (although he has shown signs of being maybe pretty good, putting up solid numbers and winning against the Titans).
Trading Ramsey wouldn’t be the end of the world – if they get a good return – but it would signal that this season is probably a lost cause.
Who would be a good trade for the young Florida State grad?
Saints Give Up on Lattimore:
This trade would keep the Jags in contention, as Marshon Lattimore is still a solid corner. While he’s certainly a downgrade, he has shown flashes of being an elite, shutdown corner, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors two years ago.
The big question is what else would the Jags get. I’m guessing not a first-rounder, but a second or third might be a good bet. The Saints wouldn’t want to give up a first-round pick, especially with the question that QB Drew Brees’ (potential) impending retirement poses. Teddy Bridgewater looked good in Seattle this past week, but not franchise caliber good. The Saints just may want to keep that first-rounder in their back pocket.
Chiefs Go All-In on Their Secondary:
The Chiefs may be willing to part with two first-rounders in order to get Ramsey, which seems to be his asking price, but I don’t think they would give up anything else, and rightfully so.
Ramsey is a great talent, but two first round picks is a lot to give up. All in all, this seems to be the most likely deal, as the Chiefs have been linked to Ramsey since the news broke that he wanted out.
The Bucs Go Stupid, Go Crazy:
This is one of those things that seems so stupid it just might happen. The Bucs would have to give up two first round picks for Ramsey, and that would ensure that Jameis Winston would be the starting QB in Tampa for the foreseeable future. Is this a good thing?
Not really. The Bucs need to hold onto those first rounders, because Winston has yet to show he’s the long-term answer for them at QB. And, while Ramsey would be a great addition to an average defense, he wouldn’t solve all of their problems. But, it’s the Bucs. They’ve done stupider.
Ramsey Goes to the Pats. Because… Why Not?
The Patriots seem to have a way of always sneaking stuff out. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they managed to trade only a first and a future fifth round pick for the superstar corner. Then they would have Stephon Gilmore and Jalen Ramsey as their number one and number two corner. How could they lose the Super Bowl?
In the final scenario, no trade happens at all. The Jags’ owner, Shahid Khan, really wants to keep Ramsey. He has expressed his desire to re-sign Ramsey in the offseason and make him the NFL’s highest-paid corner. Why not? Ramsey is arguably the best corner in the NFL. If he gets paid as such, he may want to stay. But who knows?
This season may already be a lost cause for the Jags, but if they do deal Ramsey, if they get the right return (in other words, please don’t trade him to New England), they could flip this into a momentum changer.
They have a free year to experiment with rookie QB Gardner Minshew. If Nick Foles gets healthy they can see how he performs as well. If the Jags play this right, it could be a great return for them. If they don’t, well… look at the Raiders for an example.