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Why are we still doing the Jalen Ramsey trade rumor dance?

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NFL: Pro Bowl-AFC Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Catching up on news this morning I quickly realized that it was the middle of May. It jolted me right up like a cup of coffee. I clicked on another article about the Jacksonville Jaguars trading Jalen Ramsey based on a flimsy “report” by ESPN’s Adam Schefter in November of 2018 that has still yet to be corroborated by anyone else and was immediately shot down by the team.

I thought the notion that the team would trade the best player on their team and arguably the best cornerback in the NFL finally died, since it’s an absurd idea, but he seems to always crop up for a few days thanks to someone’s wishful thinking. It’s cropped up again thanks to an article on The Ringer, which I thought I’d go ahead and just nip in the bud immediately.

I’ll touch on some of the premise and provide the context it’s lacking.

But even if he turns in another All-Pro campaign in 2019, there still may be some friction with the team. Ramsey was one of two players who did not show for voluntary workouts last month, marking the second season in a row that the cornerback skipped voluntary team activities. (The other player who didn’t show was linebacker Telvin Smith, who announced on Instagram last week that he is taking the 2019 season off.)

First off, Ramsey and Smith being absent are entirely different things. We know why Ramsey was absent and we expected him to be absent. Just as he was absent last season, both times he was in communication with the team and they were aware. Ramsey works out in the offseason with his father.

It doesn’t have anything to do with “friction with the team”.

Fair or not, Ramsey’s absence could certainly sow doubt on whether Coughlin wants to make Ramsey the team’s highest-paid defender. Add in a few more ingredients—another sub-.500 season and all of the locker room ills that come with it, plus another subpar year from Ramsey—and the front office may decide to trade Ramsey rather than re-sign him to a record-setting contract extension.

The Tom Coughlin comments are old man yelling at cloud and no one should be surprise. In fact, I said at the time I felt like his comments were directed more at Telvin Smith than Ramsey, considering Smith was a captain and had completely gone AWOL, whereas the team was aware why Ramsey wasn’t there.

I’m not even sure how to address the “another subpar year from Ramsey” considering he once again was excellent and made the Pro Bowl. I guess “not the clear cut best corner in the NFL” last season is subpar from his 2017 season? That’s some twisting, though.

Less than a week later, on November 18, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Ramsey was “likely to be one of the many players whose names will unexpectedly emerge in trade talks this offseason.”

I guess technically it’s still “this offseason”, but uh.. he ain’t getting traded.

But two months later came Coughlin’s terseness about Ramsey’s absence, which Ramsey responded to after seeing a tweet from new Washington safety Landon Collins (another Mulugheta client) in which Collins “recruited” him to Washington and referenced the 1995 Source Awards.

Ramsey constantly tries to recruit players to the Jaguars. I’m not really sure this is supposed to mean anything, but when you’re trying to connect loose dots, I guess anything counts.

At a position where reputation is everything, it might be hard for Ramsey not to dig in and demand the biggest cornerback deal in the league by a long shot. For the Jaguars, there’s little reason to pay Ramsey until he proves he can return to his peak form. If Ramsey can return to the mountaintop in 2019, he’ll likely come down the highest-paid cornerback in the league—and no football fans will have to ask “who is Jalen Ramsey?”

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard signed a five-year, $75.3 million deal last week, which is the premise of the discussion because of what that means a player like Ramsey will demand. This of course means it’s likely the eventual deal Jalen Ramsey signs will be in the $100 million plus range, as everyone expects and as it should be.

The thing is, the Jaguars don’t have to do that anytime soon. They’ve already picked up Ramsey’s fifth-year option, which means he’s under contract through the 2020 season. After that they’ll likely have the franchise tag and then who knows what the new CBA that will be in place will have.

Also, again, “until he proves he can return to his peak form”?

I don’t even get it.

The Jalen Ramsey trade rumors had a flimsy beginning.

Let it fall.