When Jalen Ramsey threatens to walk away from a team that has drafted him in the first round two years in a row, the team that drafted him has to show Ramsey that they want him to stick around. If they don’t, he might just take his talents elsewhere, and not return his $3.4 million fifth-year option.
After spending the first three years of his NFL career in the shadow of the best cornerback in the league, Jalen Ramsey has finally been given his chance to show the world who the real Jalen Ramsey is. In his first two seasons with the Jaguars he played in only 38 games, and never started a single one of them. He accumulated only 4 interceptions and 65 total tackles. With only 33 games played on the Jaguars’ schedule in his first two years, that’s an average of two interceptions and six tackles per game.
Jalen Ramsey has played in Jacksonville for less than a year, and the Jaguars are in dire straits. They haven’t made the playoffs in five years, and have missed them three years running. Ramsey is the one who wears a badge of honor, and has taken the brunt of the blame for the Jaguars’ failures.
The Jacksonville Jaguars once had a defense that could dominate the rest of the NFL for years. However, their dreams of leading the AFC were dashed pretty quickly, especially after the departure of stars like Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue.
Selling one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks seemed like a clear sign of dysfunction in Jacksonville, and when Ramsey revealed the truth about why he left, it became abundantly clear who was most to blame for the Jaguars’ downfall.
Jalen Ramsey went from defensive stars to Los Angeles, where he played alongside Aaron Donald
The Jaguars acquired a life-changing talent in the 2016 NFL Draft, selecting Ramsey with the fifth pick. A leggy, confident defender with elite athletic ability, the former Florida State star wasted no time in showing why Jacksonville chose him over talented players like Ronnie Stanley, DeForest Buckner and Laremy Tunsil. In his second season, Ramsey earned the first of his four consecutive Pro Bowl selections. The jewel in the crown of an elite defense that included Ngakue, Miles Jack, Kale Campbell, AJ Bue and Telvin Smith, the 6-foot-11 cornerback seemed destined to spend the rest of his career in Jacksonville.
Much to the chagrin of Jaguars fans, Ramsey went from being the team’s best player to being Aaron Donald’s teammate. Dissatisfied with his contract situation, the perennial Pro Bowler finally got his freedom by being traded in October 2019 to the Los Angeles Rams, who sent two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick for the most talented member of the Jaguars’ secondary.
Eleven months later, Ramsey got the promotion he had been fighting for during his final years in Jacksonville. The 9th. In September, he signed a five-year, $105 million contract with the Rams. He responded by being named First Team All-Pro for the second time in his career. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are 31st in points scored and have qualified for the number one pick after a 1-15 record. While Trevor Lawrence offers a chance at a bright future, the Jaguars are not nearly as talented as Ramsey’s new team.
Ramsey revealed who was responsible for the Jaguars downfall by revealing the real story behind histrade statement
Jalen Ramsey makes his first media appearance for the Jacksonville Jaguars while general manager Dave Caldwell looks on. | Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
What exactly happened to make the Jaguars’ best player ask for a contract? Ramsey spoke about his desire to be traded during an appearance on former NFL player Aqib Talib’s podcast. By revealing the truth about his departure from Jacksonville, the sixth-year pro proved who is directly responsible for the Jaguars’ downfall.
According to Ramsey, Tony Khan, the son of team owner Shad Khan, asked him to meet the two men. When he arrived, however, he was surprised. Team President Tom Coughlin and General Manager Dave Caldwell also attended the meeting. Although the former New York Giants coach didn’t say a word, Caldwell made his feelings clear.
After Ramsey said he would not apologize to head coach Doug Marrone, Jacksonville’s general manager changed the course of franchise history with his comments.
He started cursing, trying to irritate me, like: You need to start apologizing, Ramsey said. I said: No, it won’t.
The Pro Bowl player admitted to laughing and smiling a bit, which Caldwell didn’t like. The GM told Ramsey to fuck off and slammed the door as he left the room.
Ramsey immediately called his agent and told him he wanted to leave. His wish came true a month later when the Rams paid top dollar to bring him to Los Angeles.
Caldwell’s treatment of the team’s best player shows just how bad things were in Jacksonville during his eight years as general manager. Of course, the Jaguars have found some future stars through the selection. But Caldwell also selected and backed Blake Bortles, a decision that ultimately proved disastrous. He was also foolish enough to choose Leonard Fournette over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. He also robbed the once dominant defense of players like Ramsey, Ngakoue, Bouye and Campbell. Caldwell’s inability to find a quarterback, hire the right coach and keep the core of a championship team intact ruined what seemed like a promising Jaguars team.
Will Jacksonville fans get a new Dave Caldwell experience with Trent Baalke as general manager?
Dave Caldwell was fired and Trent Baalke took his place. The same guy who sold Caldwell a sixth-round pick for Blaine Gabbert.
– Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) 30. November 2023
Unfortunately for Jaguars fans, the Khan family did not hit a home run in replacing Caldwell. Trent Baalke may be a new face in the office, but judging by his mixed record with the San Francisco 49ers, no one should believe his chances of making an impact in Jacksonville.
The 57-year-old held the same position in the NFC West from 2011-16. Like Caldwell, Baalke had some success with the lineup. But like his predecessor, the former 49ers general manager made a series of questionable decisions that ultimately led to his departure.
From mishandling the Colin Kapernick situation to firing Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly to wasting first-round picks on AJ Jenkins and Joshua Garnett, Baalke gave 49ers fans plenty to criticize before he was finally fired on the first day of January 2017.
Baalke can’t afford any mistakes as they try to build a strong support team around Lawrence. But given what happened in San Francisco, it’s naive to think he can make a difference in Jacksonville.