The saga surrounding Jalen Ramsey is becoming more dramatic with every second that ticks away on the clock. The All-Pro cornerback formally requested a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars shortly before the team was set to take on the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football in Week 3, igniting an inferno of calls from teams interested in paying a top premium for him.
The asking price is just that, by the way, an absolute premium — because the Jaguars are looking for at least one first-round pick but likely two, and could want more in return. Still, cornerback-starved teams who are all-in to win now — like the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles — were and still are on the open line waiting for an answer from the Jaguars on their offers. Meanwhile, Ramsey participated in the 20-7 defeat of the Titans and is still in Jacksonville as their Sunday battle with the Denver Broncos speeds down the pike.
Adding more fuel to the flames was news Ramsey, and even the timeframe for his return to the team created debate.
An initial report from Adam Schefter of ESPN noted Ramsey would not be at the Jaguars’ facility this week whatsoever, but Josina Anderson of ESPN — who notes Ramsey was actually ill and not trying to leverage his situation further by being absent — states the mercurial cornerback would return on Wednesday.
For his part, Schefter reports it’s still a long shot Ramsey suits up against the Broncos — even if he returns on Wednesday.
That angle appears to be echoed a bit by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, albeit for a different reason. While the initial story this week was that Ramsey was dealing with the flu, there’s now news of him nursing ailments to his lower back and hamstrings.
So what’s known here?
We know Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville and the team has fielded several lucrative offers, but have also hit the pause button on moving him at the moment. Until then, Ramsey remains a member of the Jaguars and is contractually obligated to participate in games if healthy, or suffer the penalty of game fines should he choose to hold out. The rift between him and the organization is due to extreme tension with team exec Tom Coughlin and a recent public fallout with head coach Doug Marrone — the latter insisting the two have moved on from their spat — but owner Shad Khan and Ramsey remain on good terms; and it’s Khan that is hesitant to ship out the best cornerback in football.
What remains to be seen, however, is if Ramsey will play the injury/illness card to leverage his position via holdout without it being formally tagged as such, which would allow him to avoid any type of financial penalty.
With the NFL trade deadline of Oct. 29 still weeks away, this soap opera may continue for quite a while in North Florida.