Jaguars superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey, still only 24 years old, requested a trade in the aftermath of a Week 2 defeat to the Texans, which dropped the Jaguars to 0-2 on the season. That much was already known and has been known since Monday. Now, though, we know the exact reason why Ramsey asked for a trade. It turns out, Ramsey’s request has nothing to do with his sideline argument with Jaguars coach Doug Marrone. Instead, it has everything to do with the Jaguars’ front office — run by executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin (best known as the former coach of the Giants who led the franchise to two Super Bowl titles) and general manager David Caldwell. 

That’s what Ramsey, himself, told Nate Burleson on the 17 Weeks podcast with Uninterrupted. On the same day (Thursday) that the Jaguars are scheduled to take on the Titans in an early, but key AFC South clash, which Ramsey is active for, the defensive back’s explanation for the entire situation went live. Ramsey began by saying that the request — which has been in the making for a while — has nothing to do with the city of Jacksonville or his teammates. He loves them both. It’s the front office and organization that he has issues with. 

“It was something that has kinda been building over a little bit of time,” Ramsey said. “It has nothing to do with my teammates here. I love all my teammates here. It has nothing to do with the city. I love the city here. Still doing my charity work here. Still out with the fans, signing autographs, taking pictures, whatever it may be. I love the city here. I love my teammates. But it was more so with the front office and the organization.”

Which brings us to Sunday after the Jaguars lost by one point to the Texans, during which Ramsey was seen arguing with Marrone on the sidelines. The argument did not factor in his trade request. Ramsey says he had already moved on from it, mainly because those kinds of arguments happen around the NFL. We see them every season.

“I called my agent after the game,” he said. “After the game, of course, it was tough in the locker room already. The incident on the sideline with me and coach. I didn’t think much of that in particular, because that happens from time to time. That happens all across the league. We see Tom Brady get into it with his coaches and he’s the greatest of all time. That’s just passion, man. That’s passion and emotion. I feel like that blew up a little more than it should have. That happened early in the first quarter, and I went out the rest of the game and you can see the production that I put out there on the field — what I held (DeAndre Hopkins) to and how the whole defense played. And honestly, it was just the moment, it was the incident, and honestly we were kinda moved past it.”

What prompted his request then? It sounds like the higher-ups in the Jaguars’ organization said “some disrespectful things” to Ramsey after the game that made him immediately call his agent to initiate the trade process.

“Some disrespectful things were said on their end that made me definitely walk out and call my agent as soon as I walked out,” he said. “I said, ‘It’s time. My time is up here in Jacksonville.’ I said, ‘I want to ask for a trade.'”

He wasn’t angry. He didn’t make an emotional decision. And he doesn’t regret asking for a trade. He still wants to be traded.

“I was truly at peace, like I wasn’t in a mindset of making a decision while I was angry,” he said. “I was completely calm. I still stand by that decision to ask for a trade.”

So, what now? 

Well, for one, if you’re reading this before or during “Thursday Night Football” between the Jaguars and Titans, Ramsey has a game to play. He is not inactive for the game, even though he’s standing by his request to be traded. So, unless the Jaguars decide to keep Ramsey on the sidelines or Ramsey decides he doesn’t want to risk an injury playing for a team he doesn’t want to play for anymore, Ramsey will take the field against the Titans. It’ll likely be his 51st and final game with the franchise.

After the game, the Jaguars will have to decide if they want to grant his trade request. If they do decide to move him, they’ll have plenty of suitors and they should be able to secure a huge haul for arguably the league’s best young cornerback — Ramsey would likely say he’s the league’s best cornerback regardless of age, but that claim could be disputed by someone like Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore

On Wednesday, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora told Adam Schein on CBS Sports Network that the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Eagles were among the early favorites to acquire Ramsey.

“The sense that I’m getting from GMs and personnel directors is Kansas City ChiefsSeattle SeahawksPhiladelphia Eagles,” La Canfora told Adam Schein on CBS Sports Network. “These are three teams you hear the most about. Seattle, Philadelphia, they’ve been as proactive in making trades in this league across the board as anybody. And both were in, at least to some degree, on Minkah Fitzpatrick.”

According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, in addition to those three teams above, the Ravens, Vikings, and Raiders have also made “substantive inquiries.” Anderson reported that “almost every team has at least placed a call.”

It’s not at all difficult to understand why nearly every single team would want Ramsey. Since the Jaguars drafted Ramsey fifth overall in 2016, he’s emerged as one of the league’s best cornerbacks with nine interceptions, 45 passes defended, two Pro Bowl nods, and one first team All-Pro selection. He ranked eighth on our list of the top 25 players under the age of 25 a year after placing fifth. In short, he’s a superstar. 

Now, one very lucky team is probably going to add Ramsey to their roster in late September while the Jaguars are probably going to be parting ways with their best player as they try to overcome an 0-2 start to the season and build a playoff-caliber team for the future. 

At the very least, Coughlin and the Jaguars will hold plenty of draft ammunition in the drafts to come assuming they land a huge haul for Ramsey, but with those picks, they’re going to be hoping to draft players who will eventually develop into a player like Ramsey. And given the way the draft works (it’s a crapshoot), it’s more likely than not those players won’t be as great as Ramsey. 


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