He is the most prominent free agent still sitting out there, and it looks like, for now, Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant is willing to play the waiting game.
His obvious and very public flirtation with the Cleveland Browns, that even included him being part of last week’s HBO “Hard Knocks” episode, has apparently cooled. The Browns are ready to wrap up the preseason and set their final 53-man roster this weekend.
And, even after a season-ending knee injury to wide receiver Marqise Lee Saturday night in the Jaguars preseason game with the Falcons, at the moment it doesn’t appear that the Jags have much interest in bringing the eight year veteran former Cowboys star in.
And then, there was late Monday night on social media where Bryant decided to relay some of his feelings and game plan for signing with any team:
I can I just have to take care of me first….gave to much love and not received at least half back…I will play ball this year just might be a lil bit later in the year.. we will see https://t.co/9FVMcgX4K1
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 28, 2018
Bryant posted that he was needing to “take care of me first,” and that it might be “a lil bit later in the year.. we will see” before he agrees with a team.
Then, when a random “Twitter Troll” accused Bryant of sounding desperate, he fired back quickly and revealed something else:
I know you want that garbage that’s coming out of your mouth to be true..but check this.. I can sign before this season start..if I don’t.. I will make less money which more likely to happen..I want to be right.. that’s my focus right now..life is great over here https://t.co/P188ftT5Bm
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 28, 2018
“I can sign before the season start.. if I don’t.. I will make less money which more likely to happen,” Bryant tweeted.
That’s obviously in reference to Cleveland and that he has at least an offer on the table from the Browns. Yet, Bryant is weighing taking less money to be on a better team, once the real season starts.
Maybe that team is Jacksonville?
As we have written over the last couple of days, the Jaguars do have 11 million dollars or so under their salary cap at the moment with their final cuts and 53-man roster coming.
Again, there’s been no outward indication that the Jags have serious interest in Bryant. However, it’s undeniable that VP of Football, Tom Coughlin, got a “belly full” of watching Dez Bryant do damage against his New York Giants year after year.
And it’s also undeniable that the Jaguars don’t have anyone on their roster that is a proven dynamic playmaker and reliable third down threat like what Bryant is. He will turn 30 in November but comes off a 2017 with 69 receptions with six TDs in Dallas.
And, he easily has two or three solid years left.
The main question is, does his production overshadow the selfishness and problems that he can cause in a locker room?
Maybe he is content to wait for the start of the season, or maybe this is the Dez Bryant leverage play to get a deal done with Cleveland or someone else this week?
We are about to find out.
Report- Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey demanding trade
The continued soap opera of Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey had another chapter on Sunday and now, the Pro Bowl defensive back has apparently demanded a trade.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport says that Ramsey’s agent contacted the club Sunday night after the team’s latest loss, 13 – 12 to the Houston Texans, wanting his client to be moved:
Sources: #Jaguars Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade from the team. This stems from his frustration with how he’s being used and from a confrontation with coach Doug Marrone on Sunday. This has been steadily building.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
The latest dust-up involving the former Florida State first round pick and the club happened on the sidelines in the first quarter of the game. That’s when Ramsey was apparently upset the coach Doug Marrone did not challenge a completion to Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a key third-down with Ramsey covering him.
Television replays showed the ball may very well have been on the ground and the pass incomplete. Marrone and Ramsey had to be separated, not once but twice, after Marrone confronted him on the bench next to teammates:
Lets check in on the 0-1 Jaguars. Jalen Ramsey vs Doug Marrone? Oh pic.twitter.com/hJ7oe2XyAP
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) September 15, 2019
Then, Ramsey came back to argue with Marrone, while he was standing near midfield resuming his coaching duties. And, he had to be walked back to the bench area by an assistant coach.
The ongoing saga included reports last season that the Jaguars have been shopping Ramsey themselves for possible premium draft picks during a dismal 5 – 11 finish.
Ramsey was also suspended for a week of training camp a year ago for conduct detrimental to the team after he screamed at Jaguars beat reporter Philip Heilman. Heilman was filming an altercation between teammates Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler after a training camp practice.
Ramsey is making $3.6 million for this season, earlier in April the Jags picked up Ramsey’s $13.7 million option for next season.
The Jaguars send a message to their locker room last October when they dealt Fowler, former number 1 pick defensive end out of Florida to the L.A. Rams. So, it is not too far-fetched to think that VP of Football Tom Coughlin and Marrone would do the same with Ramsey soon.
However it’s not likely that something like that would happen this week, as the Jaguars are hosting the Tennessee Titans in the Thursday night game at TIAA Bank Field.
Credit Jaguars Doug Marrone for gambling on two point play
All too often, coaches deserve criticism for being way too conservative or not being willing to take any chances. So, when a coach does what Doug Marrone did in the final :30 Sunday in Houston, we say “raise a glass for him.”
To set the scene: the Jaguars had played a pretty subpar offensive game for much of the day behind rookie backup quarterback Gardner Minshew. However, Minshew rallied the team in the final two minutes down 13 – 6 to get into scoring range. This included Minshew scrambling on his own and running 18 yards down to the Houston at 13-yard-line with :52 left.
Then with :30 left, Minshew found second-year receiver D.J. Chark alone in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown to pull Jacksonville within one point.
And that’s when Marrone, the Jags third-year head coach, decided to gamble on trying to win the game, right then.
Marrone called for a two-point play, and it was briefly halted when Texans coach Bill O’Brien called time out. Still, after the brief break and time to think about it, Marrone stuck with his plan and did not try to tie the game with a Josh Lambo extra point.
Instead, out of the shotgun formation Minshew handed inside to power back Leonard Fournette, who was stopped by a Texans double team tackle led by safety Justin Reid, just short of the goal line.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 15, 2019
That stop preserved the win for Houston and dropped the Jags 0-2.
After the game was done, Marrone met with the media and almost immediately was asked about the risk he took going for the two-point conversion, especially on a road. Marone answered that he had been contemplating going for two the entire time the Jags were driving inside the final two minutes.
Doug Marrone said he made the decision before the final drive that if the #Jaguars scored he was going to go for two.
— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) September 15, 2019
As for Fournette, he said postgame that he felt like he had reached the ball across the goal line, but briefly, to give Jacksonville a 14 – 13 lead. Alas, the officials didn’t see it and replays couldn’t clearly show him getting the ball across.
No matter that goes as a loss, Marrone was trying to win a game that his team had no business being in.
This is especially, with the loss of QB Nick Foles to a broken clavicle last week, and then, not playing the game with the likes of DE Yannick Ngakoue, DB A.J. Bouye, WR Marqise Lee and LT Cam Robinson, who are all injured and still trying to recover.
So, shorthanded, and off a season that fell apart at 5-11 last year, Marrone sent the message to his team: “I want to win, right now.”
But. the Texans stopped it.
Yes, you can question the play call/formation to hand Fournette the ball.
However, you cannot argue with a coach showing guts to go for victory, when his team needs a spark.
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