Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade. While many are saying the San Francisco 49ers should not trade for the controversial cornerback, here is why they should at least consider a potential move.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey turned heads on Sunday when he got into an altercation with his head coach, Doug Marrone. Then, news broke Ramsey had requested a trade. Many have discussed this trade in respect to the San Francisco 49ers, some saying that the Niners shouldn’t want anything to do with the outspoken corner, while others say he makes perfect sense for the team.
The Niners should be all over Ramsey, and would be silly to not at least explore trade options for him. Ramsey has been one of, if not the, best cornerbacks in the league in his three seasons. He has made two Pro Bowls and was listed as a first-team All-Pro in 2017.
That’s right, he was a first team All-Pro in his second season in the league.
And then, take a look at how he has performed against a group of receivers most would consider the best in the league, courtesy of Pro Football Focus’ George Chahrouri:
No one questions Ramsey’s ability. The main issue fans have with trading for him is that he is seen as a toxic personality, an off-the-field mess. But where does that actually come from? It seems like a bit of an exaggeration. Until his altercation with Marrone this weekend, no one was questioning Ramsey’s locker room character.
And quite frankly, it looked to many like Marrone was the one who started that fight.
Now, does that give Ramsey an excuse to blow up at his coach? Obviously not, but let’s not take one issue and blow it out of proportion. None of his teammates have criticized him, in fact, there has been nothing but praise for Ramsey from his teammates. Additionally, Ramsey has handled this entire issue quite professionally, saying he did not leak the news of his trade request, as he did not want to distract his teammates, and that he plans on playing for the Jaguars this Thursday.
Ramsey may be a frustrated guy who, in his own words, only cares about winning and is tired of being on a losing team. Ramsey had been frustrated with the team for a while, as he wanted a contract extension, but the team refused to deal. But, unlike many of his peers in the NFL who held out when they didn’t get paid, Ramsey has continued to play for his team.
He is still playing for the team after requesting a trade. That doesn’t seem like a locker room cancer. Now, he did once like a post about potential replacements for his team’s starting quarterback, but given his starting QB at the time was Blake Bortles, can you really blame him?
The other main criticism of Ramsey comes with his outspokenness. Ramsey has often made headlines for calling out other players in the league, criticizing them and just flat out trash-talking them. Indeed, he has often trashed opposing players in the media, including the 49ers’ own, Jimmy Garoppolo.
A top cornerback in the league trash-talking opposing players; does that sound familiar to anyone?
Oh yeah. Much like cornerback Richard Sherman, Ramsey makes plays to back up the talk. Now, I personally don’t mind a player with the talent to back it up talking trash. But if it is an issue, who better than Sherman to mentor Ramsey and help him figure it out?
After, all let’s not forget Ramsey is only 24 years old.
Another argument against the 49ers trading for Ramsey is that they don’t need him. The 49ers do have a solid group of defensive backs, with Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon currently starting, and Jason Verrett expected to make his return to the field soon. But you’re kidding yourself if you think Ramsey is not better than all of those guys.
Now, that obviously does not necessarily mean that the Niners should trade for him, but they should certainly explore it. The Jaguars certainly do seem to be asking a lot, and it seems many teams already have interest.
So it looks like at least one, if not multiple first rounders will necessary to give up for Ramsey. But, the 49ers will hopefully have a late first rounder anyways, based on how well they have started the season.
And, is there any player in the coming draft that is guaranteed to be as good as Ramsey is? No.
According to the latest, from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, San Francisco is “not in” on a trade for Ramsey. But front offices change their minds all the time, and it wouldn’t be the first instance where a team says it’s going to do one thing, only to revert back to doing another.
Now, a lot of people are upset with the current trend among NFL players of demanding trades. They say it is harmful for the league. Are they right? Maybe, but that doesn’t matter in this case. Good teams adapt.
Right now, the best cornerback in the league is available, who cares why. It may be setting a negative trend for the league, but that doesn’t mean the Niners shouldn’t try to take advantage of it.
The Niners should at least be willing to explore trading next year’s first and more for Ramsey. Should they give up everything possible? No. But this is the best player at his position in the league, the 49ers have to at least take a shot on him.
That’s what contending teams do.
The Rams paid up big to build a superstar defense last year, and it took them to the Super Bowl. At some point, a team has to decide that they’re just going to go for it. And right after starting a season 2-0 seems like a pretty good time to go for it.