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Why are we all pretending like Jalen Ramsey isn’t a great player?

Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for a king’s ransom in NFL terms — two first round draft picks and a fourth round draft pick. The All-Pro cornerback will be spending most of his fourth season (and presumably his fifth) in Los Angeles alongside other Jacksonville castoffs like Blake Bortles and Dante Fowler.

The news was expected for weeks after stadium whispers turned into rumors of a rift between Ramsey and the front office, namely Tom Coughlin. There were “disrespectful” things said to Ramsey — and a public dressing down of the cornerback — after a tough Week 2 loss against the Houston Texans. Then there was the press conference shortly after (it was bizarre) and then an appearance on the 17 Weeks podcast where Ramsey made things more clear.

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

He sat out three games with a back injury that, while legitimate, is something you should have expected him to push through. And then the trade last night.

So where are we now?

Well, apparently a lot of anger and revisionist history.

In my opinion, the only thing you can justifiably be angry at Ramsey about is the way he handled it, specifically the timing. He put the team in a very tough position, having to go with a Plan B in undrafted cornerback Tre Herndon. But even the timing has to be seen through the lens of that interaction between Ramsey and (supposedly) Coughlin after the Texans game. I don’t think this situation gets to the point where Ramsey is asking for a trade if that interaction doesn’t happen. He had weathered public comments about not being at voluntary workouts and contracts handed out to undeserving players. It was the interaction after the Texans game that broke the camel’s back.

To the people saying he’s not an impact player any more, you’re wrong. He’s the best first round draft pick since Fred Taylor. He has allowed the fourth-lowest completion percentage against opposing quarterbacks since 2016. He was the first player in over a decade to put Jacksonville back in the national spotlight. He had the game-winning interception in our first playoff game in a decade. He was going to the Super Bowl and he was gon’ win that bitch. He talked trash to Tom Brady minutes before an AFC Championship game in Foxborough. He was the best player on the team for each of his four seasons here.

And he gave the city an identity and a swagger it had been missing for a long time.

Jacksonville got two first rounders for a guy they were never going to keep long term. They made the best out of a bad decision that they a hand in creating. But I’ll still miss him.