If you ask me, this feels more like a quasi-public "either him or me" request from Ramsey when it comes to Marrone, with Ramsey believing he can potentially force the Jaguars' hand when it comes to . Capitulating to a star player, even one as good as Ramsey, isn't the best look, though.
And if Ramsey is dug-in against a team that refused to give him a contract before the season, how easy could this contract negotiation actually be? Ramsey seems like a guy who might be willing to make things problematic for the team over the remainder of his contract and the franchise tags the Jaguars can use. Additionally, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Ramsey could actually be dealt *this week* because of the confrontation that took place between he and Marrone.
So what could the Jaguars get for Ramsey? According to Schefter, the Jags want "at least one" first-round pick in return for Ramsey, and there's a good reason to believe they can ask for that and won't take less than that in return.
For starters, consider how good Ramsey is. He was an All-Pro in his second year and has already made two Pro Bowls. Ramsey can absolutely make a claim for the best cornerback in all of football. Whoever ends up retaining his services is getting an excellent player.
You can argue having to pay Ramsey big-time money is a downside to trading for the cornerback, but this isn't some outrageous deal. Ramsey probably wants $16 million a year to top the current cornerback market -- it's not that hard a deal to figure out as long as you plug in some certain, ahem, clauses in the deal. Make sure Ramsey won't go full Darrelle Revis on you and hold out during the course of the deal and it's not insane to pay a 24-year-old stud corner at the top of the market. Make it a five-year deal and lock down Ramsey through his prime.
One thing complicating matters, however, is the recent deal by the Texans to acquire Laremy Tunsil. Outside of quarterbacks and pass rushers, it's pretty fair to say cornerbacks and left tackles are the primary building blocks for teams. I would valuate Ramsey above Tunsil and I would guess the Jaguars do as well. Which means they may not be willing to take less than two first-round picks (and more?), which is . That's a similar situation too, with both guys due for top-of-the-market extensions pretty soon as a result of their play and contract statuses.
Additionally, Minkah Fitzpatrick just netted the Dolphins a first-round pick in the next few days, per CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Fitzpatrick is on a rookie deal, so it's a different scenario, but the Jags aren't taking less for Ramsey than the Dolphins get for Minkah.
Long story short, I think Jacksonville could probably get two first-round picks for Ramsey this coming offseason from a team fancying itself a contender. Right now? That might be a little bit tougher, because there aren't many scenarios involving teams with multiple first-round picks and/or a desperation for a cornerback.
Ramsey is still an elite player. He will fetch a pretty penny. So who will chase him? Let's look at some options, ruling out the Steelers . You can also hear our full breakdown of all the options in audio form by listening to the Pick Six Podcast in the player below. Make sure and subscribe for a daily dose of NFL!
I don't think this necessarily fits with the approach that Tom Telesco has taken in recent years when it comes to building a roster. He clearly cares about his draft picks and he believes he can nail those draft picks. But Ramsey is also a game-changing player -- the Chargers would be adding Ramsey (fifth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft) to a defense that already features Joey Bosa (third overall in 2017) and Melvin Ingram, not to mention Ramsey's good buddy Derwin James. Earlier this offseason, Ramsey commented on social media that he and Derwin would "1,000 percent" end up playing for the same team again at some point.
Don't sleep on the presence of Gus Bradley, Ramsey's old coach in Jacksonville. The Chargers would have Ramsey, Casey Hayward and Derwin in their defensive backfield. That's a loaded, young group.
Part of the concern for L.A. could be the hesitancy to give up a pick that could result in a strong, young player. Since 2012, the Chargers have selected eight first-round picks and only three of them -- D.J. Fluker, Mike Williams and Jerry Tillery -- have failed to make at least one Pro Bowl. Williams profiles as a possible breakout this year and has flashed at times and Tillery was drafted this season. That's good work in the first round. I don't know if Telesco would be willing to give up on those chances to acquire a cheap young player, especially with Bosa and other young stars needing extensions at some point. If he wants to push in on a championship window with Rivers (sneakily in the final year of his deal), this would be an opportunity.
Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders
One team who DOES have a pair of first-round picks? The Raiders, who are still squatting on that second pick they got back from the Chicago Bears in the Khalil Mack trade. With both Oakland and Chicago beating Denver so far this year, those teams are 1-1 on the year and look, at least two weeks into the season, like reasonable playoff contenders. It wouldn't be unreasonable for Jon Gruden to look at a guy like Ramsey and decide giving up a pair of first-round picks for him right now would a) help improve this team's defense as a whole and b) hurt the pick they are giving to the Jaguars. Plus, that Bears pick doesn't look like it will be exceptionally high.
If you were picking a place where the Raiders are lacking in talent, cornerback would qualify. Oakland is currently starting Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley. Ramsey would be fantastic in Paul Guenther's scheme. The Raiders defense looked pretty good for a quarter against the Chiefs and completely locked down Denver in Week 1. It might be a better group than we originally thought.
Ramsey told the "Bussin' With the Boys" pod (Taylor Lewan and Will Compton's podcast, held on a bus, a name and theme I am extremely jealous of) that he would prefer to play in Nashville or Las Vegas when he joined them back in September.
Ramsey is from Tennessee, but it's a little unreasonable to expect the Titans to trade multiple first-round picks to the Jaguars or for the Jaguars to trade a superstar player to a division rival. (Aside: teams should do this more often! If you can take two first-round picks away from a division rival and force them to sign a guy to a huge contract, why not do it? Conversely, if the Titans got Ramsey and he got to play the Jags twice a year, he would 100 percent record 12 picks a year against them.)
Kansas City Chiefs
A team with a championship window that badly needs help on defense, the Chiefs are very much in on the Minkah sweepstakes, but it's not unreasonable to think they might be willing to pursue Ramsey if they came up short in the pursuit of Fitzpatrick.
Plugging Ramsey into this defense with Breshaud Breeland (nice pick against Oakland!), Tyrann Mathieu and young Juan Thornhill would give the Chiefs a really impressive presence on the back end. With Frank Clark up front, maybe the Chiefs could be more balanced on the other side of the ball from Patrick Mahomes. Surely Andy Reid knows he needs to have a better defense when he inevitably runs into Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in the playoffs.
With the news that Ben Roethlisberger is out, Reid should feel even more comfortable with the notion that he can get the No. 1 seed and make a run to his first Super Bowl. The Patriots and Ravens are a problem and there's 14 more weeks to go, but the Chiefs offense looks even better than it did last year. Why not try and improve the defense?
New England Patriots
Because the rich clearly need to get richer. The Patriots defense is good enough to take care of business without Jalen Ramsey, as they've shown over the first two weeks of the season. But Bill Belichick isn't afraid to gamble on top-end talent. You saw what he did when Stephon Gilmore hit free agency. He went after the talented cornerback aggressively and locked him down. Ramsey wants a new contract, but he might be willing to keep playing on his current deal with the Patriots knowing he could get a monster deal if he balls out and the team wins the Super Bowl. Adding Ramsey to this defense would be ridiculous, but why not shove in on 2019 if you're New England? The Pats obviously value their draft picks but Belichick could rest easy knowing he isn't giving away a high first-round pick. I could see them waiting and hoping no market materializes and then jumping in with a lower offer than multiple firsts. For anyone who gets mad the Patriots are on a list like this, just consider how Belichick treats elite cornerbacks when they become available. Darrelle Revis, Gilmore, etc.
Not sure if the Seahawks want to bring in a new, ahem, high energy cornerback who could compete for the alpha role with Russell Wilson. But I think John Schneider and Pete Carroll have to at least be worried that their defense has been carved up by Andy Dalton and Mason Rudolph (oddly they locked Ben Roethlisberger down) over the last two weeks. Getting Ramsey and adding him to the secondary would boost Seattle's chances in what looks like a very tough division -- three teams are 2-0 -- and no one is more willing to get aggressive with sending out first-round picks than the Seahawks. If they believe they can get a superstar talent for the cost of some early round picks, John Schneider will pull the trade, knowing that Ramsey's addition to this defense could seriously boost their title hopes. This would also be a benefit as the Seahawks are in the NFC, not that the Jaguars are planning to compete in the AFC if they deal Ramsey.
We've seen the Philadelphia secondary get torched for two weeks in a row now -- even if Matt Ryan threw a bunch of picks, it's clear that Philly's defensive backs didn't develop the way Howie Roseman might have hoped earlier this offseason. The Eagles are certainly a Super Bowl contender, though, and have shown a willingness to be aggressive in pursuit of star players who can greatly improve the roster. Ramsey would absolutely qualify. And the Eagles have to consider their first-round pick likely to end up in the bottom half of the draft, so I think they'd be willing to make this move and drastically improve their defense.
I am contractually obligated to include the Cowboys when discussing a big name player because Jerry Jones is willing to go up top and make his team better. This would be a little tough if he was trying to pay Dak Prescott, pay Amari Cooper AND pay Jalen. But maybe the Cowboys are looking around and thinking they can win the Super Bowl now. They traded a first last year for Cooper and it paid off. Why not shove in again this season? The only downside here is Ramsey once told Mina Kimes of ESPN he wouldn't play for the Cowboys as long as the Jones family was in charge because they passed on him for Ezekiel Elliott. Drama!
John Breech floated San Francisco on the podcast and I like it as a sneaky option after the 49ers started 2-0. Jimmy Garoppolo looked much better in Week 2 and the offense appears to be picking up some steam. The defense looks much better as well and adding Ramsey would give them a premium defensive weapon with a familiarity: the 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was in Jacksonville with Ramsey and Bradley during his rookie season. The 49ers are under pressure to win now and adding Ramsey, who is also a piece that can help them down the road, would benefit them greatly. This would also be an attractive trade partner for the Jaguars: the 49ers have had high picks almost every single season the last few years and the Jaguars might be willing to take a single first-round pick from the and move on from Ramsey, with the possibility it becomes a top-five or top-10 pick even with the 49ers hot start.