A Perfect Fit: Jalen Ramsey and the Raiders

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Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, arguably the NFL’s best cornerback, requested a trade shortly after the Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Ramsey got into a heated argument with his head coach, Doug Marrone, after Marrone didn’t challenge a questionable 3rd down reception by Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Marrone approached Ramsey and had to be restrained by players while Ramsey sat on the bench. Prior to that, as Ramsey walked off the field, he and Marrone argued as Ramsey walked past his head coach to the bench. Ramsey is also in the 4th year of his rookie contract–one he has outplayed–and is looking for a new deal.

A Perfect Fit: Jalen Ramsey and The Raiders
Photo courtesy of NY Post

After the report came out last night shortly after the Monday Night Football game kicked off, social media and NFL experts voiced their opinions on “who’s the best fit for Ramsey” with the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, and the Los Angeles Chargers as leading candidates.

According to sources I have in Jacksonville, Ramsey isn’t the only Jaguars player upset with the organization and his teammates support their embattled teammate. The Jaguars have issues in the locker room with players on the defensive side of the ball arguing and beefing with one another, leaving certain players to play peacemaker. There are also whispers coming out of Jacksonville that the locker room as a whole is getting tired of Marrone’s message.

While there are plenty of reasons why some of the other teams make a ton of sense as potential trade partners with the Jaguars for Ramsey, the Raiders make the most sense. I believe the Raiders need him more than any other team listed.

The Packers are rumored to be one of the two teams (along with the Raiders) that has shown the most interest in Ramsey. I don’t buy it personally, since the Packers have spent first-round picks on Jaire Alexander (2018) and Darnell Savage (2019) in consecutive years, second-round picks in Oakland native Kenny King (2017) and Josh Jackson (2018), and spent a pretty penny on Adrian Amos this offseason to remake their secondary. The Chargers are a notoriously cheap organization and still have to pay Melvin Gordon and Derwin James in a couple of years. The Chiefs are in “win-now mode” but may not want to have to pay the price, both in draft picks and dollars, for Ramsey. The Dolphins have the draft equity and the cap space but Ramsey isn’t going to make them a contender this season since the Dolphins are in full (fish) tank mode.

That leaves the Raiders. Before I get the “Joe, the Raiders don’t need him! You’re WRONG! What the hell are you smoking?!” You need to hear me out.

While the Raiders do have some really good young talent in their secondary, Jalen Ramsey is the best cornerback in the NFL in my opinion. Gareon Conley, Trayvon Mullen, Lamarcus Joyner, Jonathan Abram, Karl Joseph, Daryl Worley, Keisean Nixon, Erik Harris, and the injured Isaiah Johnson are a nice young group, but adding a player like Ramsey puts the Raiders in a position to not have to worry about their secondary for years. Throw in a division that has them playing Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and the Chiefs explosive offense twice as well as Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen twice.

A Perfect Fit: Jalen Ramsey and The Raiders
(AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File) ORG XMIT: NY185

The price tag for Ramsey is steep. Reports are that the Jags are seeking two 1st round picks or a 1st round pick and a player. The Raiders could package one of their two 1st round picks and another pick (let’s say a 3rd in 2021) for Ramsey and sign the uber-talented cornerback to a new deal this offseason when the team has over $85 million dollars in salary-cap space. I have zero issues trading a 1st round pick for Ramsey as part of a package since they’re not going to get a player that is as talented as Ramsey and about to enter his prime years.

Jalen Ramsey would be the best corner to play for the Raiders since Charles Woodson in his prime. He has the size, speed, athleticism, toughness, pedigree, and he’s not afraid to come up and bang someone. He also has strapped-up the NFL’s best receivers in the past like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Hopkins. Ramsey has allowed the 5th lowest completion percentage since he has entered the NFL while being targeted 317 times, most in the NFL.

Ramsey would also help the Raiders pass rush with his coverage skills. Yes, the Raiders like to run zone coverage with the defense they run under defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, but he also hasn’t had the type of corner Ramsey is. Raiders GM Mike Mayock raved about Ramsey coming out of Florida St. in 2016 and was shocked he was there at the 5th pick for Jacksonville. Jon Gruden knows how to handle special corners since he drafted and coached Woodson in his early NFL years.

A Perfect Fit: Jalen Ramsey and The Raiders
Photo courtesy of oregonlive.com

Those who worry about Ramsey being another uber-talented player with attitude issues don’t know him. He is highly respected by coaches and teammates and is known as a good teammate who is a hard worker and a guy that they can count on day-to-day. He is also known as a high character guy amongst his teammates and organization.

A Perfect Fit: Jalen Ramsey and The Raiders
Photo Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Any time you can add a player, under the age of 25 who is already considered the best at his position, you have to do it. Add in that Ramsey went on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast with Will Compton and Taylor Lewan in the offseason and said if he were a Free Agent he would like to play for Tennessee (where he is from) and Las Vegas as an option for when the Raiders move there. He specifically liked how Nevada — like Florida — does not have a state income tax.

Gruden has said he would be aggressive in trying to add talent and get the Raiders where they need to be. Mayock loved Ramsey coming out and Guenther could have a lockdown corner that could strap-up any receiver in the game and would help the Raider pass rush. If there is any time to get aggressive and go get a player who will impact the game for you, you have to go get him. The Raiders need to do just that. Go get Ramsey and watch the Raiders’ pass defense take a huge step forward as well as show the rest of the AFC West that the defense is going to be a problem for them going forward.

 

Joe Arrigo

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