The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback is looking for a new contract and wants to be traded
It's not often that NFL players publicly request to be traded, but that's exactly what Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey did last week. His agent made this announcement after the Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans, which was highlighted by Ramsey's heated sideline argument with head coach Doug Marrone. That incident seemed to the tipping point for him. While the Jaguars haven't said publicly whether or not they'll grant Ramsey's request, it's been said that the team wants a first-round draft pick as part of any deal for him. While Ramsey has shown himself to be hotheaded at times, he is one of the top players at his position.
To date, Ramsey has registered 211 tackles, 45 pass deflections, nine interceptions, two forced fumbles, and has a touchdown since being the fifth overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft after starring at Florida State. He's also made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons. On the field, he doesn't give up too many big plays, he's solid in coverage, and has a nose for the football.
He's in the fourth year of his five-year rookie deal and is set to make roughly $17 million (per Spotrac) over this year and next. He's productive, is relatively inexpensive given the impact he has on a defense. But it's clear he also wants to get paid as he showed up to training camp in a Brinks truck to illustrate his point.
While we all wait to see how this plays out, here are five teams who should, at least, consider making an offer for the embattled defensive back.
1. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
The cornerback position hasn't quite been the same in the Pacific Northwest since Richard Sherman took his talents to San Francisco. The Seahawks have already proven that they'll take a player looking for a change of scenery as evidenced by the Jadeveon Clowney trade prior to the start of this season. Making a move for Ramsey would be another example of that; and he'll bolster a defense that already includes Clowney, defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, a strong linebacking corps with Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, and Shaquem Griffin; and fellow cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin.
Another corner couldn't hurt the Seahawks as they've already allowed 707 passing yards and six TD passes. Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals averaged 8.2 yards per completion against Seattle in Week 1. The Seahawks still have a little more than $15 million in available cap space (per Spotrac) so they could take on Ramsey's contract. They also have a first-round pick and two second-rounders in 2020 as potential trade chips.
2. Cleveland Browns (1-2)
The Browns were picked to have a better start to this season after their roster upgrades. But not only have they given up 66 points in their first three games, they're also struggling against the pass (allowed 715 yards and 5 TDs), and all four starters in their secondary didn't play in Sunday night's loss to the Los Angeles Rams due to injury. Not only could Ramsey help on the injury front, but he'll also add a major name to this Browns defensive backfield. The Browns certainly have the cap space ($32 million) to add Ramsey to the roster, and they have five picks within the first four rounds of next year's draft to offer Jacksonville.
3. Dallas Cowboys (3-0)
When you are among the eight undefeated teams in the NFL you're usually doing something right. But teams have had success throwing against "America's Team" (756 yards, 3 TDs) in the early going. Dallas is still looking for its first interception and could use a boost in the secondary with New Orleans, Green Bay, and Philadelphia all on tap (along with the New York Jets) before the Cowboys' Week 8 bye. Bringing in Ramsey would add more star power to this roster and it's not like Dallas hasn't had its share of players with strong personalities. Jerry Jones has never been shy to spend the money (estimated $25 million in cap space per Spotrac), especially if he believes Ramsey will help the Cowboys get back to and win the Super Bowl.
4. Buffalo Bills (3-0)
The Bills are 3-0 for the first time since 2011. They are tied with the defending champion New England Patriots for the top spot in the AFC East. This week, these two teams will meet to decide outright first place in the division. I don't think it would be a bad idea for Buffalo to trade for Ramsey, especially for this game. Tom Brady has proven that as long as he's able to throw, it doesn't matter who's catching the passes.
Pairing Ramsey with Levi Wallace (15 tackles, 3 pass deflections) and Tre'Davious White (13 tackles, 2 PD's, 2 INT's) would give the Bills some strong pass coverage against New England and moving forward. With $28 million available in cap space and nine 2020 draft picks at their disposal, it's something they should consider.
5. Chicago Bears (2-1)
The league's top defense a year ago has had some struggles against the pass early in 2019, but this unit showed up in a big way on "Monday Night Football" against Washington. Entering Week 3 with just one takeaway, the Bears had harrassed Redskins quarterback Case Keenum into five (3 INTs, 2 fumbles) in their 31-15 win. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix returned one of his two picks for a touchdown and Khalil Mack had two of the team's four sacks. Keenum finished the game with 331 passing yards and Chicago is giving up 260 through the air per game but remains solid against the run and is holding opponents to just 13 points per contest (third in the NFL). The Bears are already loaded on defense but could you imagine if Ramsey joined a secondary that features All-Pros Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller in addition to Clinton-Dix, Prince Amukamara, and Buster Skrine? Chicago would definitely be loaded for (ahem) bear to go up against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Matthew Stafford in the NFC North as well any other quarterback (i.e, Patrick Mahomes in Week 16) on their schedule.
As much as Bears fan would love to see this happen, the chances are probably best categorized as slim. Fitting Ramsey in from a financial standpoint won't be that hard, but the draft capital is where the team is lacking. Trades for Mack and to move around in previous drafts have left Chicago without a first-, second- or third-round pick in 2020. The Bears also are likely to lose their fifth-rounder because of the preseason trade they made with Oakland for kicker Eddy Pineiro. To say Chicago would have to get creative to offer an appealing enough package to Jacksonville to land Ramsey would be an understatement.
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.