Potential Landing Spots, Offers After Jalen Ramsey Requests a Trade
The 2019 NFL season has not been kind to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Week 1, they lost new starting quarterback Nick Foles to a broken clavicle. Now, the face of their defense, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, has asked for a trade.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Ramsey's agent approached the team with the request following the Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans. Though there is no reported plan in place to deal the two-time Pro Bowler, this could change with the right offer. Per Schefter, Jacksonville wants more than a first-round pick for Ramsey, which isn't surprising.
A first-rounder is roughly what the Miami Dolphins just got in return for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Which teams could—or at least should—deal for Ramsey? While most contenders would love to have him, Ramsey isn't a fit or a major need for everyone. Here, we'll examine teams who have the biggest holes at cornerback, those who could be the most attractive to Ramsey and one that just has a history of snatching up veteran talent when it becomes available.
These are the top potential destinations now that Ramsey headed to the trading block.
The Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl window is open, and adding Ramsey would address one of their biggest weaknesses.
The Eagles are a nearly complete team, but their cornerback group—headlined by Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox—leaves something to be desired. Through two weeks, Philadelphia has surrendered 680 yards through the air.
The big question is whether Ramsey would be the right fit. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has used a lot of zone dense this season, which could be an issue for Ramsey.
"[NFL Network's Ian] Rapoport also noted that Ramsey's issues with the organization stem from how he's being used on defense," Jelani Scott of NFL.com wrote. "... Defensive coordinator Todd Wash has had Ramsey play zone, an obvious difference from the man-to-man scheme he shines in."
Of course, the Eagles could be relying on zone coverage because they don't have a lockdown cornerback. Adding Ramsey would change that.
The Eagles should be willing to give up a potentially late first-rounder in 2020—and perhaps backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld—for the Jags corner.
Ramsey probably wouldn't find a better fit than with the Detroit Lions. Head coach Matt Patricia loves to utilize man coverage, in part because it allows freedom and versatility in the front seven.
Adding Ramsey to a group that includes Darius Slay and Justin Coleman would give Detroit one of the NFC's top secondaries. And yes, the Lions do have a chance to make noise in the NFC North this season.
With a 1-0-1 record, the Lions are one of two undefeated teams in the division after two weeks. The Green Bay Packers are 2-0.
Adding a talent like Ramsey in the secondary could help Detroit keep pace with the Packers. The Lions will face quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Patrick Mahomes in Weeks 3 and 4 before the bye, and then they have a Week 6 showdown with Green Bay.
That slate alone should prompt Detroit to offer a 2020 first-rounder and a little extra for the star defender.
New England Patriots
While we're on the topic of fit, it would be wise to at least mention the New England Patriots. Their defensive tendencies haven't changed much since Patricia's departure as coordinator in the 2017-18 offseason—the Patriots still employ a lot of man coverage.
With cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones on the roster, there isn't as much of a need for Ramsey. The Patriots have allowed just three points this season and six points dating back to the Super Bowl.
There's also the financial aspect to consider. Ramsey wants a new deal. The Patriots will pay Gilmore roughly $19 million per season in 2020 and 2021.
New England can never be ruled out when it comes to acquiring talent, though, and the team should maximize the remainder of Tom Brady's career. It wouldn't be a shock to see the Patriots acquire the Jaguars star and move on from Gilmore before Ramsey's deal expires after 2020.
The Patriots aren't likely to make a heavy offer, considering the state of the defense. Of course, they may not view a late first-round pick as a heavy offer.
The Oakland Raiders could use a talent like Ramsey. Gareon Conley has flashed skills but isn't a lockdown cornerback, and he's the best of a merely average group. The Raiders have also shown they're not afraid to make moves.
Ramsey is just 24 years old and could be a building block. The Raiders have the cap space to give him the new contract he wants. This is a fit in a number of ways, but there's also the fact that Ramsey would actually like to play in Las Vegas—where the Raiders will soon be located.
"I like Vegas," Ramsey said on the Bussin' With the Boys podcast (h/t Adam Maya of NFL.com). "It's got no state income tax."
There's always the possibility that Ramsey wouldn't want to be a Raider once he joins the organization—you know, like a certain wide receiver this past offseason—but for now, this appears like a realistic match.
Oakland should push hard for Ramsey, possibly offering as high as a first- and a third-rounder.
Kansas City Chiefs
According to NFL.com's Jeffri Chadiha, the Kansas City Chiefs aren't interested in acquiring Ramsey because the locker room "is too good right now."
This sentiment has to be taken with a grain of salt. As Chadiha pointed out, Kansas City did inquire about Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson earlier this year, so it's not as if the team is unwilling to bolster its secondary.
The unit could use bolstering too. It's one of the team's few weaknesses. Through two weeks, Kansas City has allowed an average of 262.5 yards passing. While the offense is usually productive enough to overcome a leaky defense, this won't always be the case. See last year's AFC title game for proof.
Ramsey could be a big difference-maker.
According to Yahoo Sports' Terez A. Paylor, the Chiefs are likely to monitor Ramsey's situation at best.
"I would not expect a hard push for Ramsey," Paylor tweeted. "Ramsey will require a lot of capital via picks and a new deal, and the Chiefs have Mahomes and Chris Jones' deals to work through."
Expect any offer from the Chiefs to be on the low end—possibly no more than the first-round pick.
New York Giants
The New York Giants are rebuilding, and Ramsey is the kind of player the team could build its secondary around. He would also fill a need, as the Giants have allowed 642 yards passing through two games.
What makes New York different than other teams on this list is the fact that it may be able to entice the Jaguars with veteran quarterback Eli Manning.
Offering a valuable first-round pick for Ramsey may not make sense for them. However, they may be willing package Manning and perhaps a second- or third-round selection to acquire the corner.
Manning has a connection with Jaguars vice president Tom Coughlin, who coached the Giants for 12 seasons. The two-time Super Bowl MVP may also be available, as New York has announced rookie Daniel Jones is set to start in Week 3.
The question for Jacksonville is whether Coughlin and the Jaguars view Manning as a viable starter for anything more than the short term. Is he even a better option than rookie Gardner Minshew II, who's handled himself well in replacing Foles?
The question for the Giants is whether they can convince Manning to play for the Jaguars—the QB has a no-trade clause.