So here we are. The grim face of reality, some might argue the very cloaked face of death itself, hovers over TIAA Bank field. It awaits the opportunity to drop the ax on the relationship that is Jalen Ramsey, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Jaguars fan base.
Jalen Ramsey wants to be traded. He wants out. As much as we may want him to stay, evidence to the contrary sits on your front porch.
wow they're already removing the large banner in downtown Jax pic.twitter.com/XvPxfydFJY— MadeByTim (@MadeByTim) September 17, 2019
* If you don’t know MadeByTim, the guy is adept at making stunning photo modifications.
#Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has deleted anything Jags related from his Instagram: pic.twitter.com/ghRdyNPzv7— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) September 17, 2019
Ramsey unfollowed the jaguars— Jake (@_jakerice) September 17, 2019
Unsurprisingly sides have been taken, and blame is being assigned. There are those who see Jalen as a cancer, the Jaguars leadership as a cancer, or cast stones at both of them.
You turned ‘Super Bowl Contender’ into ‘our stars want out’ in less than two seasons. The incompetence is astounding, impressive really. @Jaguars #FireMarrone— Minshew Magic (@AlexHicks12) September 16, 2019
When the going gets tough, @jalenramsey apparently says, “Trade me!” (via @ESPN)— Mike Dempsey (@md_1010xl) September 16, 2019
Final thing: When the three players who were drafted in front of Jalen Ramsey got huge extensions before their fifth year, that’s not something that doesn’t get noticed. Semantics matter.— John Shipley (@_John_Shipley) September 16, 2019
And FTR, my feelings are not about Jalen. It's the same thing I've been saying for atleast 3 years now. Fans deserve better than to be in constant rebuild every 3 years. Be angry at the right ppl.— Amp Wigg (@ShopTalkingWigg) September 17, 2019
Nothing, i mean nothing should hv led to a player acting like that on the sidelines to a head coach.— Amp Wigg (@ShopTalkingWigg) September 17, 2019
ESPN Jaguars beat writer Mike DiRocco added some context as to why the Jaguars leadership is better off without Jalen. He notes that Ramsey’s work ethic and professional approach to his craft are second to none.
By all accounts, Ramsey is one of the team’s hardest workers. He studies opposing receivers and has notebooks full of information on each. He is always in great shape and treats his craft seriously. He’s also not a bad guy. He adores his family. None of that is an issue for the Jaguars. In that respect, he’s the perfect player.
However, the baggage he brings to the vacation takes up too much space. He is not a team player, and too often his emotions create unnecessary conflict.
It’s everything else that’s the problem. Saying defensive coordinator Todd Wash should be fired in 2016. Questioning Wash’s defensive calls in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game against New England. Ripping most of the league’s quarterbacks in a GQ article. Going on a profane tirade toward the media after a fight between Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue was recorded during an open portion of training camp practice.
That, along with threatening a reporter on Twitter, earned him a week’s suspension in 2018.
Screaming at Marrone on Sunday for not challenging a completion to DeAndre Hopkins and having to be separated from his head coach was an over-the-top reaction that should have -- but didn’t -- result in any discipline. It was the last straw and caused Ramsey to have his agent ask for a trade.
I have consumed as many opinions as possible, especially from those who have access to what happens behind the walls of One Stadium Place. By all accounts Jalen is not a locker room problem, and while he may be overly emotional at times, coach Marrone appears to understand the personality that is Jalen Ramsey. Because of this, some will claim Doug has no control over the team.
Would I like the star cornerback to hold his tongue and act more professionally? Absolutely. It is bad optics for the team, but there is no indication these antics are wearing on team unity like Antonio Brown’s or OBJ’s did for their old clubs.
Are the personnel moves worth his ire? The Jaguars let Allen Robinson walk, extended Marquise Lee and Blake Bortles. The way David Caldwell has handled the Yannick Ngakoue surely does not sit well considering the paycheck Myles Jack received for arguably less production.
It is hard for me to make a decision at the moment, and maybe I never will. As more information pours in, as more interviews are had, maybe evidence will be more convincing.
Or maybe this is just the sad nature of two parties not getting along.
All that said, I have a hard time forgiving Ramsey for the timing. After a tough loss to the Texans, and on a short week with the Titans game looming, my perspective as a fan is unwavering. This was a poor decision. The last time these teams played the Jaguars were embarrassed by Derrick Henry, and the focus should be about regaining some level of pride. Breaking the losing streak against a divisional opponent who plays more like you say you do.
Announcing that he wants out, removing all connections to the Jaguars on social media, that does not reflect a team first attitude. If you are about the team, about supporting your “brothers” in teal, then this happens in private. Drop it on Friday.
As a fan, I can not imagine not having these feelings about the timing of the news. But if he suits up, I will cheer his name. As of right now, Jalen is still a Jaguars.
About everything else, I will abstain until more information is released. Both sides make compelling arguments.
Where do you stand?
* Editors note: In his Tuesday press conference, Jalen expressed that is camp did not release the trade information. That said, with his agent confirming it the optics are still problematic. Also, a note was added to the tweet from MadeByTim, noting that it is another one of his great photo editing pieces. It was not to be taken seriously.