A week ago Monday, Kansas City Chiefs fans who are longing for a star cornerback on the team’s roster couldn’t have been more excited. Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was reported to have asked the team to trade him — and NFL general managers were said to be burning up the phone lines discussing a deal.
Twitter rumors flew that the Chiefs were among the teams discussing a deal with the Jaguars, but that wasn’t confirmed until last Wednesday, when Yahoo! Sports reporter Terez Paylor said that the Chiefs had spoken with the Jaguars about a trade. Paylor, however, also said “there are major cap considerations and draft capital to consider” in any deal the Chiefs might make for the cornerback.
Still, the speculation kept coming. Would Ramsey play in the game against the Titans last Thursday night? If he didn’t, would that mean a deal was imminent? If he did, would that mean there was no deal? Ramsey did play in the Jaguars 20-7 victory — and then reportedly called the team on Sunday night to say he was sick and would be unable to practice on Monday.
On Tuesday, Paylor appeared on 610 Sports’ The Drive with Carrington Harrison and Sean Levine, saying that the Jaguars are now having second thoughts.
“They were exploring [a trade] last week,” Paylor said. “They kind of gauged the market. They’re having second thoughts — which, quite frankly, is smart. Because Jalen Ramsey is a 24-year-old All-Pro corner — and those don’t grow on trees. They’ve got to decide if they want to trade him — and then if they do decide they want to trade him and they’re determined to move him, then the price has to be right for the Chiefs to move.”
This is what appears to be the key for all the parties involved: the price has to be right. Reports have consistently said that the Jaguars were seeking at least two first-round picks in compensation for Ramsey’s rights, and every report we’ve seen indicates that offers made to the Jaguars have been for less than that.
To further complicate matters for the Chiefs, as a team that is a likely championship contender in the years to come, their draft picks will have less value than those of other teams bidding against them — the point Paylor next addressed with Harrison and Levine.
“I do think there are other teams out there that at the moment probably have more to offer — or are willing to offer more — than the Chiefs will potentially be able to.”
Harrison expressed his view that the Jaguars have decided not to trade Ramsey — and Paylor agreed.
”It certainly wouldn’t appear to be the case there right now. Now maybe he does turn into a nuisance and then they decide that he has to go? Like, who knows? That could totally happen — and if that happens and these other teams are bluffing, then maybe the Chiefs will have a shot. We’ll see. But like you said, at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of movement on that front.”
Paylor was then asked if Antonio Brown’s stunning exit from the Patriots after less than two weeks on the team’s roster might have had a cooling effect on the Chiefs’ interest in Ramsey.
”I think it has more to do with the fact that I think the [Chiefs’] corners have generally played pretty well this year,” Paylor replied. “It’s a good group in the sense that they play hard [and] they tackle every down; it’s been a pretty aggressive-tackling bunch. They’ve been getting pretty decent performance from this group. Mo Claiborne’s coming back in a week. I think that’s a good thing. I think they feel pretty good about where they’re at now. But you know, one bad game can always change that. We’ve been through these before.”
But Paylor had a larger point to make about Brown.
“Honestly, man, people were freaking out about Antonio Brown and the Patriots,” he explained. “But what did you see over the past month that let you believe that he was going to be available — and be reliable enough — to last into January? That’s why you don’t make moves so much to counteract things that another team has done — especially if the player has proven to be unreliable. If you’re the Chiefs, you get Jalen Ramsey because you know he’ll help you in January — no matter who you face. But I don’t know if you do it because you’re worried about Antonio Brown.”
The Chiefs aren’t the only NFL team that could use an upgrade at cornerback; other teams with more to offer in trade could stand in the way of a deal that would bring Ramsey to Kansas City. But at the same time, no team has apparently made an offer that the Jaguars would accept.
Twitter rumors that Ramsey cleaned out his locker in anticipation of a trade are just that: rumors. Even if they were true, as long as no trade partner is available, what Ramsey wants (or expects) doesn’t matter a lot; he’s still under contract to the Jaguars. He might just have to put his stuff back in the locker. As of Tuesday evening, we have a report that Ramsey will be back at the Jaguars facility on Wednesday.
A lot can happen between now and the NFL trade deadline on October 29. But right now, the possibility that Ramsey will become a member of the Chiefs appears to be low.