Jalen Ramsey has asked his agent for a trade, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The news comes one day after Ramsey and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone had to be separated on the sideline after a heated discussion.
Jalen Ramsey is not happy, part II pic.twitter.com/FzJUJR7N3t— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) September 15, 2019
The Jaguars vehemently denied they would trade Ramsey at the time, but a week after Ramsey’s tweet, Schefter reported that the All-Pro cornerback would be discussed in offseason trade negotiations. Ramsey stayed with the team, but he clashed with Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin in April when Coughlin chided Ramsey for missing voluntary workouts. Coughlin’s comments were serious enough that the league issued Coughlin a warning. Sunday’s argument will make it even less likely that Coughlin signs Ramsey to a contract extension.
Schefter reported that the Jaguars have “spoken with interested teams, but there is no current plan to trade Ramsey.” Perhaps there is no plan to trade Ramsey because he shit-talked half of the quarterbacks in the league in a GQ article before the start of the 2018 season. The first thing that would happen after a team trades for Ramsey would be reporters asking that team’s starting quarterback, “Hey, [quarterback’s name], your team just traded for Jalen Ramsey, and Ramsey told GQ last year that you were, quote, [synonym for trash]. How do you feel about that?”
If Ramsey is dealt, we know this will happen, so rather than list the most likely places for him to end up, let’s rank the possible trade destinations from least to most awkward based on his comments.
Quarterback: Andrew Luck
The quote: “Andrew Luck—I don’t really think he’s that good.”
Ramsey is saved here. Hopefully he hasn’t talked shit about Adam Vinatieri, because that is a sensitive subject right now.
Awkwardness level: Zero
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
The quote: “Coming off the play-action, he’s the best quarterback in the league. Play-action passing, he’s a hell of a quarterback.”
What an oddly specific comment, but it turns out he was right! He was so on the money that Cousins and the Vikings listened to their analytics department and overhauled their offense to center it on Kirk Cousins’s play-action passing.
“I think the nature of play-action lends itself well to it being effective,” Cousins told The Ringer’s Robert Mays in August. “And if that’s the case, why not do it more? I think coaches think it’s something to sprinkle in. And I think what our analytics department is saying to me, and to us, is really it can be a steady diet. It can be the identity because the numbers suggest that even if teams know it’s coming, it’s still effective.”
Jalen Ramsey could do my job far better than I could do his.
Awkwardness level: Borderline jovial
Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans
Quarterbacks: Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson
The quote: “Deshaun Watson, he’ll be the league MVP in a couple years. One hundred percent. There’s not even a debate about that. Him and Carson Wentz, for every year starting now until five to 10 years, it’s gonna be them two. They’re that good.”
Two of Ramsey’s nicest comments may serve him well considering these are two of the most likely teams to acquire him. The Eagles lack cornerback depth, and the team has been willing to make splashy trades to shore up roster weaknesses under general manager Howie Roseman. Houston just traded most of their future top picks to Miami for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, but the team also needs cornerback help after cutting Aaron Colvin—and it’s not like head coach Bill O’Brien is concerned about the Texans’ draft-pick stockpile. Perhaps Ramsey knew what he was doing when he complimented these two.
Awkwardness level: The opposite of awkward
Los Angeles Rams
Quarterbacks: Jared Goff and Blake Bortles
The quote: “Jared Goff, he’s average to above average … in his second year, they got a new offensive coordinator. Your offensive coordinator is just your brainiac. When we played them, it felt like his offensive coordinator was drawing up perfect plays and then he was hitting the open man. For what his team ask him to do, yeah, he’s good.”
Ramsey’s assessment of Goff is pretty spot on (most of his comments to GQ were). But the Rams signed Blake Bortles to be their backup this year, and while Ramsey always defended Bortles, he also said in the same interview that the Jaguars’ starting offense never practiced against the Jaguars’ starting defense during the season because they would have embarrassed him.
“We don’t wanna hurt his confidence,” Ramsey said. “That’ll probably hurt his confidence.”
Now Bortles will be running the Rams’ second-team offense, so Ramsey would have the chance to wreck Bortles’s confidence.
Awkwardness level: Like meeting an old friend, but the old friend quickly becomes an enemy.
Quarterback: Dak Prescott
The quote: “Dak Prescott, he’s good. He’s all right. He’s OK. I’ll put it that way. [Ezekiel Elliott] runs that team though. Everything runs around Zeke.”
Ramsey has already eaten crow on this one, as Prescott eviscerated the Jags defense last year in a 40-7 victory.
Through two weeks Dak Prescott is tied with Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes for the league lead in touchdown passes (seven), and leads the league in yards per pass attempt (10.9), adjusted net yard per pass attempt (12.1), and ESPN’s total quarterback rating. Ramsey will have to issue a mea culpa, but it’s nothing that can’t be patched up.
Awkwardness level: Brief
Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger
The quote: “Big Ben, I think he’s decent at best. … It’s not Big Ben, it’s [Antonio Brown]. Big Ben slings the ball a lot of the time. He just slings it, and his receivers go get it. He has a strong arm, but he ain’t all that. I played him twice last year, and he really disappointed me. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame and all that.”
This is highly unlikely after the Steelers traded a first-round pick on Monday to the Dolphins for cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. But considering the drama that Pittsburgh creates, perhaps Ramsey would say even harsher things if he landed there. Roethlisberger is out for the year with an elbow injury, but Roethlisberger’s preferred method of communication with his teammates is criticizing them on his weekly radio show. The show was canceled in August, but nothing is stopping Roethlisberger from calling back in to defend himself.
Awkwardness level: Will continue until one of them retires.
New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers
Quarterback: Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers
The quote: [When asked which quarterbacks don’t suck.] “Aaron Rodgers does not. Tom Brady doesn’t.”
Tom Brady would not let this comment get under his skin. It is easy to imagine him responding to a reporter’s question about this comment by saying, “Jalen is right, I don’t suck.”
Rodgers, on the other hand, has a 50-50 chance to take it extremely personally. Rodgers is a world-class grudge holder—he was reportedly always pissed at former Packers coach Mike McCarthy for the 49ers drafting Alex Smith no. 1 overall in 2005 when McCarthy was their offensive coordinator. He was also spotted arguing with new coach Matt LaFleur this week and explained it by saying they weren’t “yelling how much we love each other.” If Rodgers can feud with his head coaches, one cornerback is no problem.
Awkwardness level: Barely registers in New England, boils over in Green Bay.
Quarterback: “What’s the Atlanta quarterback’s name?”
The quote: [Ramsey is told Atlanta’s quarterback is named Matt Ryan.] “I think Matt Ryan’s overrated. You can’t tell me you win MVP two years ago, and then last year, you a complete bust, and you still got Julio Jones? There’s no way that should ever happen. I don’t care.”
Ramsey, after he was reminded of the 2016 MVP’s name, goes on to say Ryan got worse once offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to coach the 49ers. Ramsey is then asked whether he is worried he is providing Ryan bulletin-board material. Ramsey is not. “I don’t play them this year anyway.” Perhaps he’d revise that if he were playing with him.
Awkwardness level: Matt Ryan going Walter White and telling Jalen Ramsey “say my name.”
Quarterback: Josh Allen
The quote: “Allen is trash. I don’t care what nobody say. He’s trash. And it’s gonna show too. That’s a stupid draft pick to me. We play them this year, and I’m excited as hell. I hope he’s their starting quarterback. ... If you look at his games against big schools, it was always hella interceptions, hella turnovers. It’s like: Yo, if you’re this good, why couldn’t you do better? He fits that mold, he’s a big, tall quarterback. Big arm, supposedly. I don’t see it, personally.”
Honesty is refreshing. There are so many incredible aspects to this quote, but the most overlooked is “big arm, supposedly. I don’t see it personally” about a guy who can throw the ball 80 yards. But even more incredible is that Ramsey doubled down on this during the Jaguars-Bills game.
I am crying laughing at Jalen Ramsey yelling “YOU TRASH!” at the Bills sideline. pic.twitter.com/b4nGt1gb8N— Big Minshew Country (@BigCatCountry) November 25, 2018
Even more incredible is the Jaguars lost to the Bills 24-21 behind Allen’s 99 rushing yards. Ramsey went up to give Allen props after the game, but Allen barely noticed him, so he had to grab him by the scruff of his neck like a dog grabbing a puppy. Then he got dunked on by the Bills twitter account.
Please, Buffalo, trade for Jalen Ramsey.
Awkwardness level: More awkward than their postgame handshake.