We learned Monday that Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey had asked to be traded following an incident on the sideline between Ramsey and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone during Sunday’s 13-12 loss to the Houston Texans.
Full Jalen Ramsey/Doug Marrone incident from Sunday: pic.twitter.com/plSoFtzya6— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 16, 2019
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, one of the issues is that Ramsey doesn’t like the way he is being used by the Jaguars; he would prefer to play in man coverage instead of zone.
One of the best pure cover corners, Jalen Ramsey wants to play man-to-man and lock a WR down. One issue has been having him play zone https://t.co/7RIlT8bx4X— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
The fact that Ramsey — identified by many as the NFL’s best cornerback — could suddenly be available for trade naturally generated a lot of interest among NFL fans. But for fans of teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, the interest has been spectacularly high.
However, there has been little hard evidence that the Chiefs have had a legitimate interest in acquiring Ramsey. On Tuesday morning, a report from NFL Network host Jeffri Chadiha said the Chiefs were not interested in making a deal for Ramsey.
@Chiefs source says the team isn’t interested in @Jaguars CB @jalenramsey now that he wants a trade. Source says the team’s locker room “is too good right now.” The team did ask @AZCardinals about CB Patrick Peterson earlier this year and was “emphatically told no.”— Jeffri Chadiha (@jeffrichadiha) September 17, 2019
On the other hand, reporters like CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora said that other NFL GMs expected the Chiefs to make a move for Ramsey.
There is a strong sentiment among many NFL GMs that the Chiefs will emerge as a primary suitor for Jalen Ramsey. They are all-in to win now. Have embraced difficult players. Have a big need at corner. Could their secondary hold up vs New England in January? What about w/Ramsey?— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 17, 2019
In response, Chadiha doubled down on his original report — which was corroborated by The Athletic’s Nate Taylor.
I’ve also heard similar statements from folks within the Chiefs organization. https://t.co/MruCI0T37Y— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) September 17, 2019
But in a series of tweets on Wednesday, friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports said that the Chiefs have indeed had discussions with the Jaguars about Ramsey — but he was careful to say there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle.
Allow me to be very, very clear, guys - the Chiefs have had discussions with the Jaguars about Ramsey, and a team does that if there’s legit interest. But like I said yesterday, there are major cap considerations and draft capital to consider. https://t.co/4MtA7UtDRU— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) September 18, 2019
Now, is there is a point where a trade WOULD make sense for the team to do? Yes. So like everything in the NFL, the situation remains fluid. But it’s unclear if things will progress to that point.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) September 18, 2019
I am asking you guys to understand there is nuance and context to this situation. I have done the best I can to communicate the different factors at work, and where things currently lean.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) September 18, 2019
Does this mean the Chiefs will make a deal to obtain Ramsey from the Jaguars? Not necessarily. But this information from Paylor — long considered one of the most reliable sources for information from within the Chiefs organization — indicates that the Chiefs have at least some interest in making a deal.
As Paylor noted on Tuesday morning, the proper compensation for Ramsey would be two first-round draft picks — which has indeed been reported to be the Jaguars’ asking price. For the Chiefs to give up that much draft capital to get Ramsey — whose current contract will pay him $13 million in 2020 — it’s quite possible the Chiefs would want to negotiate a new contract as part of the deal; two first-round picks (and a big salary) is a lot to give up for a player who might not on your roster a year and a half from now.
So if the Chiefs are in any kind of serious negotiations with the Jaguars about Ramsey, two significant issues have to be settled: what the Jaguars want and what Ramsey wants. Then the Chiefs will have to decide if it’s a price they can afford to pay.
Here’s an indicator to watch: whether Ramsey plays in the Jaguars’ Thursday night game against the Tennessee Titans. If there are serious negotiations underway with the Chiefs (or any other team), the Jaguars might decide to put him on the bench — thereby eliminating the possibility of an injury that could mess up the whole deal. But if Ramsey plays, that could be an indication that substantive talks are not underway.