Antonio Brown‘s 2019 travels have caused some to wonder whether the NFL is becoming like the NBA, with players having unprecedented power to dictate the place where they will be employed, contractual rights and CBA realities like the franchise tag be damned. The biggest test yet for this concept now becomes Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey’s agent is getting the word out that Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville. And now the question becomes whether the Jaguars will give Ramsey what he wants.
Ramsey wants to be paid, vowing not to give the team a discount if they approach him next year. Ramsey also said in August that, if he doesn’t remain with the Jaguars, he’d like to play for the Raiders or the Titans, who play in his hometown of Nashville.
The Raiders have the 2020 draft capital to get him, with Chicago’s first-round pick along with their own thanks to the Khalil Mack trade. The Raiders also have the extra cash to pay Ramsey, thanks to the decision to dump Brown and avoid nearly $30 million in expenditures over the next two years.
Ramsey’s talent is undeniable, but he definitely has a stubborn independent streak and he could be a handful for a head coach. Jon Gruden may not be in the mood to navigate another big personality. Or Gruden may be stubborn enough to still think he can.
Regardless, the ball is now in Jacksonville’s court. Will they shop Ramsey, permit him to shop himself, or tell him that he’ll play for them or for no one? And if they refuse to trade him, will Ramsey try to disrupt and disparage his way out of town?