As the weekend continues to progress, so too does the evolving story of whether the Jaguars will hang on to Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey or not?
After a week of reports and rampant speculation that Ramsey would be traded to a team that made the best offer to Jacksonville, as of Saturday afternoon, there was still no deal in place to move the former first-round pick to another franchise.
After a week of speculation, the #Jaguars currently have no deal in the works to trade star CB Jalen Ramsey, and one source said the longer this goes on, the more likely it is he stays. Meanwhile, Ramsey’s trade request still stands. The wait for clarity continues.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 21, 2019
As Rapoport tweeted, the Jaguars are still seeking premium compensation of at least one number one pick and probably more for Ramsey, who is regarded as one of the best cover corners in all of football.
Also a source tells F.F.I., that the biggest issues in North Florida are more about Ramsey feeling disrespected by V.P. of Football, Tom Coughlin. Further, that he does not have as big a problem with Coach Doug Marrone, despite their sideline blow up last Sunday in the first half of the 13 – 12 loss to Houston.
Marrone was seen going over to Ramsey and having a heated verbal exchange on the bench after Marrone didn’t replay challenge a DeAndre Hopkins third down catch, where it looked like the ball hat hit the ground.
The source went on to say, that Marrone and Ramsey had smoothed things over on Tuesday prior to the Jaguars lone practice on the short week and their eventual 20 – 7 win over the Titans Thursday night at home.
The Jags defense was impressive with nine sacks and held the Titans to just one third quarter score. Then,Ramsey was seen hugging many of his teammates on the field post game (like above), as almost like a possible goodbye.
Another aspect to possible trade compensation was further complicated earlier this week. That’s when the Dolphins pulled the trigger on a trade for their 2018 first round pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and got a number one pick in return from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This is further bolstering the Jaguars desire to get perhaps two number ones or something similar, because Ramsey has accomplished much more in previous three years than Fitzpatrick. And it explains, why they may wait and hang on to Ramsey until the trading deadline later in October gets closer.
It should also be pointed out that Fitzpatrick was moved on Monday night coming off last Sunday’s game. And, the Jaguars could be fielding offers and wait until the games are over Sunday night to take the best one.
Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hinting he’s gone again?
One of the key free-agent questions for the Jaguars continues to be whether or not they’re going to allow their best pass rusher, Yannick Ngakoue, to test the free-agent market coming up? And, once again, the player may be giving a clue that he’s going to do just that.
Ngakoue tweeted Wednesday morning the following phrase, which seems to indicate, yet again, that he will be playing somewhere else in 2020:
— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) February 26, 2020
This goes along with something that we wrote earlier in January. That’s when just a couple of days after the season Ngakoue posted essentially a goodbye message to Jaguar fans. This came on the heels of him having held out for a new contract for the first few days of training camp last August, but not receiving a new deal during the season, etc.
Ngakoue, whose 37.5 career sacks are the most by a Jaguars player after 63 career games, is sure to be a sought-after player from many different teams. GM Dave Caldwell said at the end of the season when asked about re-sgning his star pass rusher, “He is a tremendous player and even a better person. How he handled his business this year was tremendous. But, I would say that’s priority No. 1, to make sure he comes back to Jacksonville. Hopefully, we can get that done. ″
It’s also worth noting that at Tuesday’s NFL Scouting Combine at media availability in Indianapolis, coach Doug Marrone repeated that he wants Ngakoue to remain in Jaguars teal and white:
Doug Marrone: ‘’No doubt where I stand or the coaches.”
—They want Yannick Ngakoue back. pic.twitter.com/vOorH4hH95
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) February 26, 2020
However, it remains to be seen if Marrone and Caldwell are willing to “pony up” huge money for him or even potentially, put the franchise tag on him before free agency begins next month?
Ngakoue figures to want a contract close to what the top ends are getting paid right now. Demarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark both signed five-year, over $100 million deals in 2019 and received guaranteed money that exceeded $62 million. That is massive for Jacksonville.
If the Jags opt for the “franchise tag,” then the talented end will be making around $19 million dollars, which is the current average of the top five players at his position. The Jaguars could also put the tag on him and then work on a longer term, salary cap friendly, deal that would replace the tag later in the off season.
Jaguars confirm they are declining option on DT Dareus
At Tuesday’s media session at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell made official what had been rumored for the last couple of days regarding defensive tackle Marcell Dareus: he will not be brought back for a fourth season in Jacksonville.
Caldwell confirmed the Jaguars are not picking up DT Marcell Dareus' option.
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) February 25, 2020
Dareus only played briefly in 2019, as he suffered a core muscle injury that sidelined him after only six games and he was placed on injured reserve. The former number one pick of the Buffalo Bills had played for coach Doug Marrone for a couple of seasons in Western New York.
Marrone and Caldwell traded for Dareus during the 2017 season and he helped them with their rise to the AFC South title and two playoff wins. This included Darius registering two sacks and four other tackles-for-loss in the Jaguars three playoff games that year.
Dareus made the Pro Bowl twice in Buffalo in 2013-14.
However, he has not lived up to his hefty contract that was reworked Jacksonville last February. Last season, Dareus made over $8 million dollars and the team would have been on the hook for $20 million this year had they picked up the option. That obviously wasn’t going to happen.
Dareus also has had legal troubles off the field, including a civil suit against him in Tampa for alleged sexual misconduct. As we wrote previously, a woman alleged that Dareus had sexually assaulted her in January of 2018 at a North Tampa Florida home, while Dareus was in town for the Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff Championship Game.
However, that suit filed in Hillsborough County court was “dismissed with prejudice” last April, which means it cannot be re-filed.
Dareus, if healthy after the core muscle injury rehab, may have some value as a defensive tackle on the free agent market.
As for the Jaguars, they have former #1 pick defensive tackle Taven Bryan to play more in the middle and are trying to decide if free agent-to-be, DE Yannick Ngakoue, can be afforded for their 2020 salary cap?