NFL

Here’s Where Jalen Ramsey Really Wanted to be Traded (and why the Jaguars Said No)

The Jacksonville Jaguars finally resolved their ongoing situation with star cornerback Jalen Ramsey this past week by trading him to the Los Angeles Rams. In the days that have since followed, there have been many more details to emerge concerning the matter. Ramsey may have gotten his wish to be moved, but there was another team higher on the preferred list of destinations beyond the Rams.

Jalen Ramsey traded to the Rams

The standing between the Jaguars and Ramsey had become icier in the last few weeks as the star defensive back remained out of action due to a nagging back injury.

It had hit a breaking point for management, with the 24-year-old electing to stay out of Week 6 action despite reportedly being cleared by three doctors. That quickly shifted over to the Rams being the most aggressive team in their pursuit of Ramsey, sending a pair of first-round picks and a 2021 fourth-round pick to acquire him.

Los Angeles’ urgency to bring much-needed stability to their secondary in the wake of both cornerback Aqib Talib and safety John Johnson placed on injured reserve along with trading cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens. However, it appears that the Rams had some stiff competition to land Ramsey, one of which was essentially ignored.

Jalen Ramsey wanted to be a Chief, but Jaguars declined

Throughout the entire process, Ramsey had stuck firm in his stance of wanting to be traded from the Jaguars.

Despite Jacksonville potentially caving into giving him a new deal, he remained on his path. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Ramsey made it clear that his preferred choice was to be moved to the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Jaguars had their reasons not to go that route.

“One team I know would have like to have been in the mix that didn’t get a call from the Jaguars at the wire: the Chiefs. I’m told that Kansas City was very interested in Ramsey, but the Jaguars had no desire to send him there (both because it’s an AFC team, and their picks are likely to be very low). I also have heard that KC was right at the top of Ramsey’s list of preferred destinations. Ramsey gave Jacksonville five teams that he wanted to be traded to: the Rams, Chiefs, Ravens, Eagles and Raiders.

The Jaguars didn’t want to trade him within the conference where they would be helping increase another team’s chances to reach the Super Bowl. It’s quite common for that to be avoided, which was the case for the Houston Texans trading Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Rams fit that desired billing for the Jaguars, with them being in the NFC while giving up the best package in exchange for the star cornerback.

Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars moving on

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey
With the ordeal with the Jaguars behind him, Jalen Ramsey is focused on helping push the Rams toward another deep playoff run. | Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Regardless of how things unfolded, it appears that both parties are satisfied that the ordeal is now over.

Ramsey has an opportunity in front of him to cement himself as a long-term cornerstone piece to the Rams’ secondary. Although there is no set timetable for when a new extension will be worked out with Ramsey, he has already told Los Angeles he doesn’t plan on holding out for the final two years of his current deal. 

The Jaguars have publicly voiced that they are moving on from the matter, with the focus shifted directly back to the field. Jacksonville grabbed a much-needed win over the lowly Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7, moving them to just one game under the .500 mark on the season.

It’s a situation that certainly begs the question of what could have been with the Chiefs’ need to improve their secondary, but the Rams will more than relish the fact that they have landed one of the league’s best cornerbacks.