This afternoon former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew joined Brent Martineau and former Jaguars defensive end Austen Lane on their daily radio show. A good part of the conversation focused on Jalen Ramsey, with MJD offering his observations on what fractures a locker room, caused the break between player and team, player insight on how narratives like being a distraction are perceived, and whether the relationship can be salvaged.
The question of money and how it relates to the relationship break has been a central focus. Jones-Drew stressed that money was an important factor, but not as a narcissistic piece as some have asserted. Ramsey has been very clear that he, Yannick Ngakoue, and Myles Jack deserve to be paid, as they are part of a defense that has all but carried the team for the past two years.
According to Maurice, this impacts team unity.
Jones-Drew highlighted that what fractures a locker room more than anything else is players getting paid who have not earned it. He offered Jerry Porter and Drayton Florence as examples of athletes who played during Drew’s time in Jacksonville that got a big paychecks but did not produce at levels of others who were not seeing similar compensation. This caused a degree of frustration for those who had been performing.
Turn to the present, Ramsey has been through Blake Bortles, Andrew Norwell, and Donte Moncrief receiving compensation when they did not deserve it. If we are to trust MJD, then it is easy to see how someone as emotional, and prideful, as Jalen would be extremely disgruntled with Jaguars leadership and their decisions related to paying players.
When the conversation turned to distractions, MJD called this out as a non-issue. While fans and media might want to read into some of what Ramsey has done off the field as problematic, his position on the topic was dismissive. He cited the GQ article as an example. The guys he takes the field with do not care about what Ramsey thinks about Matt Ryan or the “bad” Josh Allen. What they care about is whether Jalen can cover DeAndre Hopkins. If he can, then he has their respect.
Lastly, and maybe more importantly for those clinging to any hope of Jalen remaining in teal, Pocket Hercules believes the relationship can be salvaged. If the Jaguars start winning games, and if leadership extends the pen and checkbook to those who have earned it, then all may not be lost.
I asked them to give their thoughts on Jalen being retained, and after the Jones-Drew segment they expressed similar hope that, while fleeting, it is not beyond the realm of possibility.
It is a great interview, and I only touched on a few items of interest. If you are glass-half full on keeping Ramsey in Jacksonville this will feed you well.