NFL: The Highs and Lows of Jalen Ramsey’s Jaguars Career

NFL defensive back Jalen Ramsey is a lot of things. A wonderfully talented cornerback for sure. He’s also a provocateur who loves to talk trash to get his teammates’ and opponents’ competitive juices flowing. 

Right now, he’s somewhat at odds with the organization he plays for, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s take a closer look at some career highs and lows for the mercurial defensive back who always seems to find his way into the headlines. 

Jalen Ramsey’s trade request 

The Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey is one of the most talented cornerbacks in the NFL, and he's had lots of highs -- and lows -- in Jacksonville.
Jalen Ramsey makes a tackle in a 2018 game. | Tim Warner/Getty Images

First, the headline that put Jalen Ramsey and the Jags on everyone’s mind. During the first month of the season, Ramsey reported that a bad conversation with team officials after a game against the Houston Texans led him to demand a trade. The team has yet to find a trade partner and find themselves in the unenviable position of having to deal a young superstar cornerback in his prime. 

Ramsey should command a big haul of assets if and when the Jaguars decide to pull the trigger on a trade.

The highs with the Jaguars

Ramsey is an incredibly talented player, and due to that, he’s had a tremendous amount of success in the league already. Below are some of the highs he’s experienced so far: 

  • First-round draft pick. In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jags made Ramsey their first-round draft pick, immediately following the Cowboys’ selection of Ezekiel Elliott. 
  • Welcome to the postseason. In Ramsey’s first postseason game (and the Jags’ first playoff game in over a decade), he records an interception during the 2018 playoffs. The pick came at the end of the game, ensuring the victory for Jacksonville. 
  • More postseason success. Following their win over Buffalo in the wild-card round, Ramsey and the Jags defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-42, in the divisional round. 
  • Calling out quarterbacks. In a controversial piece for GQ Magazine, Ramsey is outspoken about quarterbacks he perceives as lacking talent — including Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen. While some may categorize that as a low point for Ramsey, it garnered him a lot of recognition as a player willing to talk a big game, but also willing to back it up. Allen wasn’t the only signal-caller to draw his ire: He also was less than enthusiastic in his discussion of Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger. 
  • Committing to the team. In November of 2018, Ramsey emphatically states his desire to remain in Jacksonville: “I’ve said multiple times, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I want to play for one team my whole career.” 

Jalen Ramsey’s lows in Jacksonville

Ramsey has also had his fair share of controversy and negative publicity in Jacksonville beyond the recent spat with the team: 

  • Coming up short in New England. Despite a great run in the 2018 postseason, the Jags ran out of miracles. The New England Patriots defeated them in the AFC Championship game. Afterward, Ramsey criticized the Jags’ decision to play zone defense in the second half rather than man-to-man. 
  • Missing the “voluntary” workout. At a team event in April 2019, Jaguars’ executive Tom Coughlin calls out anyone who neglected to show up for the Jaguars’ voluntary minicamp. Ramsey is one of only two players to miss the minicamp. Ramsey responded that the team knew his exact reasons for not showing up and that it was justified — though he declines to elaborate on exactly what those reasons are. 
  • Jalen Ramsey makes a statement. Ramsey shows up to Jaguars’ training camp in July 2019 in an armored truck. The move is symbolic of the fact that he’s expecting the Jaguars to pay him. It’s meant to be a humorous gesture from Ramsey, but it comes off as somewhat petty. 
  • Nashville or Vegas. While appearing on a podcast in August 2019, Ramsey indicates his ideal locations to play in (if he’s not in Jacksonville) include Nashville or Las Vegas. 
  • The beginning of the end? In September 2019, Ramsey expresses frustration with the Jags’ coaching staff for not challenging a reception in a game against Houston, leading to his trade request. 

Missing practice. Ramsey begins missing practices, first because of an alleged back injury, and then due to the birth of his child. While both are valid excuses, the timing seems convenient given his desire to leave town.