Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier just spoke to the media for the first time in months and called their trade for left tackle Laremy Tunsil a “historic haul”.
In my opinion, that’s what it’s going to take to acquire All-Pro Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The Jaguars are celebrating their 25th year this season. In 25 years, they have yet to produce a Hall of Fame player. Not only is Ramsey well on his way to landing in Canton one day, but he could do so on the first ballot if his career arc holds true. Quite frankly, this team hasn’t had a generational talent like this since Tony Boselli, Jimmy Smith, and Fred Taylor — and not even the disadvantage of small market bias nor lack of a championship ring can keep a talent like Ramsey from donning a gold jacket at his current trajectory.
Not only does his play on the field make him one of the best players in the NFL, but he is one of the biggest marketing gems in regards to raising awareness of the brand of the Jacksonville Jaguars in as long as I can remember.
They don’t have to trade him.
Thinking logically, the most prudent thing might be keeping his rights for the remainder of the year and seeing what Shad Khan decides to do with the front office after the conclusion of the season. Ramsey will be just as valuable of a trade commodity at the end of the year as he is right now - that talent isn’t going away in six months. Maybe a change in the front office and a new coaching staff in 2020 would be sufficient in changing Ramsey’s mind and staying. Maybe. But the fact of the matter is, he may just not want to be here. Period.
So what are some (realistic) trade scenarios that I would strongly consider?
New York Jets for S Jamal Adams, CB Trumaine Johnson, 2021 1st Rounder
Before you freak out and say Trumaine Johnson has been a horrible free agent bust in New York — I know. Johnson was a healthy scratch last night for the Browns and is one of the worst free agent deals to go down in recent memory.
So why would we want him here in Jacksonville?
By taking the majority of the contract off the Jets’ hands (Jets would have to pay some accelerated signing bonuses when trading a player) the Jaguars can also make a case for the Jets’ first rounder in addition to an elite player to plug into the secondary in Jamal Adams. The Jets would probably balk at giving away what looks like a high draft pick in this coming 2020 draft class (especially considering this will be new general manager Joe Douglas’ first draft class to make his own picks), but may settle on a 2021 first rounder instead to solve their CB woes.
Jets fans have been starving for a shut down cornerback since Darrelle Revis left New York, and the positional value of a cornerback who can take away half the field and shadow the other team’s number one receiver is much higher than that of a safety, no matter how good Adams is. We already know the Jaguars were very high on Adams and said he would have been the draft selection if Leonard Fournette was not on the board. Moreover, Adams is considered one of the best young leaders in the NFL and would become some much needed glue for the DB room, despite the fact that he unfollowed the Jets on Instagram today.
Oakland Raiders for two 2020 1st Rounders
Jalen has expressed that he wants to be in Oakland, but do Mike Mayock, Jon Gruden, and the Raiders want to deal with another strong personality after just purging themselves from the Antonio Brown drama?
Don’t get me wrong - Ramsey doesn’t have one-tenth the baggage of Brown. With that being said, Mayock looks exhausted and I’m not sure Ramsey fits the team-before-self profile that Mayock has identified in this draft class with guys like Clelin Ferrell and Hunter Renfrow. The Raiders do have two first rounders (they have an extra from Chicago from the Khalil Mack trade), and are projected to have the third most cap room in the NFL ($90 million+) in 2020 to take Ramsey and give him a blockbuster contract.
For a team like Jacksonville that just feels like a clean sweep might be coming this offseason, imagine the caliber of head coach and general manager that Shad Khan can attract with three 2020 first round picks, a strong defense, and perhaps two quarterbacks in Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew II? Honestly, the main reason this wouldn’t happen is because Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell would reject it knowing they may never get the chance to even use those picks.
San Francisco for TE George Kittle, DL Solomon Thomas, CB Jason Verrett, 2020 1st Rounder
To make this more realistic, I wanted to make this a 2020 2nd rounder, but the 49ers don’t have one. So you can tinker with that additional draft pick compensation (maybe 2021 1st rounder instead, etc.) but for the purpose of this scenario, let’s focus on the players.
The Jaguars need an elite tight end for this offense to really take off, and Kittle is one of the best young players at the position in the entire league. Solomon Thomas has been a massive disappointment and could really benefit from a change of scenery. Jason Verrett was a healthy scratch this week as Ahkello Witherspoon has balled out opposite Richard Sherman through two weeks. So if Ahkello is playing so well, why would they want Ramsey? Sherman is 32 in March and could be the answer at free safety for Robert Saleh in 2020 - a position they have a huge question mark at on the depth chart. Saleh also has familiarity with Ramsey from his time as linebackers coach in Jacksonville.
Kansas City for DT Chris Jones, 2020 1st Rounder, 2021 2nd Rounder
The guy that broke Foles’ collarbone? That’s the one! Jones is one of the best penetrating three-techniques in the NFL and is entering the final year of his contract, so a new deal would have to be ironed out before this gets completed. Jones had 15.5 sacks from the defensive tackle spot and would be an extremely useful player moving forward with Marcell Dareus likely gone next year. Also remember - that Chiefs 2020 1st round pick might as well be a second round pick with where they likely end up at the end of the year, and with Jones needing a new contract, I’m throwing in their 2021 2nd rounder as well to get the deal done.
Jeff Chadiha has reported that the Chiefs have no interest in adding Jalen Ramsey to their locker room chemistry right now, but I don’t buy it. There’s also another report that the Chiefs are the favorite to land Ramsey. They are a shut down cornerback away from being a serious Super Bowl contender. They also have a promising developmental defensive tackle in Khalen Saunders who can step in for Jones this year.
Philadelphia Eagles for TE Dallas Goedert, CB Rasul Douglas, 2020 1st Rounder, 2021 2nd Rounder
If they want to give the Jaguars Zach Ertz instead of Goedert (who got hurt on Monday Night Football), they can keep that 2021 second rounder. Rasul Douglas would give them a lengthy, physical cornerback that could still start for the remainder of 2019 and the Eagles first rounder (which will probably be low) could also be used to draft a cornerback in this class. It almost pains me to think of how effective Ramsey would be in Jim Schwartz’s aggressive defense in Philly.
If you are a fan of the Jets, Raiders, 49ers, Chiefs, or Eagles, you may think these scenarios are bit rich for your blood.
But that’s the point.
To part with a king, you need to offer a king’s ransom. Otherwise, the Jaguars can just keep him.
Bring on the “historic haul”.
What do you think? Would you take any of the scenarios above? Do you have your own trade you’d entertain?