It’s an exciting and challenging week for the Jaguars already with the AFC West Champion Kansas City Chiefs coming for the season opener to TIAA Bank Field. But now, the serious threat of Hurricane Dorian to the East coast of Florida will delay that Jaguars preparation.
Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement at his Monday news conference that Jacksonville will not practice Wednesday prior to getting the 2019 season underway:
"First and foremost, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone to make sure everyone's safe and has a plan."
We will not practice tomorrow or Wednesday. The current plan is to return Thursday at noon. pic.twitter.com/lmeijF14B7
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 2, 2019
First and foremost our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone to make sure everyone’s safe and everyone has a plan,” Marrone told the assembled media. ” … Hopefully, weather permitting and safety permitting, we’ll bring the team back Thursday at noon. We feel good about our plans for the players and the safety for our players.”
The Jags did go ahead and practice on Monday and Tuesday is an NFL team’s typical players day off. However, Wednesday is also typically critical for the installation of the gameplan on both sides of the ball.
Now, it is most likely that the Jaguars did some of that installation in their Monday practice. This is especially since the team set their roster at 53 on Saturday and then was able to Tinker more on Sunday with players to be brought in.
As we wrote earlier on Monday, Dorian bearing down and possibly affecting Northeast Florida has the Gators and the Jaguars monitoring things, as they are both slated to play at home this weekend.
Florida has a Prime Time game with the University of Tennessee Martin Saturday night and the Jaguars game is currently scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. with the Chiefs.
If the storm moves quickly up the northern track that it’s slated still to go on, then it may not end up affecting Jacksonville really at all on Thursday. And if that is the case then the Jaguars will still get in a full Thursday practice and a Friday walk through like a normal scheduled week.
Marrone continued Monday,
“I don’t look at it as we’re going to lose a practice day. We’re going to be able to, as of right now if everything remains the same and the schedule (stays the same), we’ll have our work in. I’m not concerned about that.
“Most of the work is done, which is not to say, ‘If there’s ever a good time, but obviously in the beginning you have a chance to have more done than obviously if something happened during the middle of a season.”
Hopefully, for the safety of the entire state, most of Thursday and Friday will be back to normal with Hurricane Dorian moving more Northeast and away from landfall.
Jaguars taking strange risk with playing Jalen Ramsey Thursday
As the Jaguars get set to try to win their first game of the season on Thursday night against rival Tennessee, the dominant story line will be about DB Jalen Ramsey and his status with the team. Further and most importantly, if the team does indeed intend to trade him as soon as Friday, why is he even playing in the game?
As for that, we wrote yesterday that Ramsey is still on the Jaguars roster and expected to not only be active, but start in tonight’s game. This despite numerous reports since Sunday, that he wants to be traded, and the team is actively shopping him to the first takeer that will give them at least one number one pick in return.
Importantly, the front office has not denied that they’re trying to move the disgruntled former Pro Bowl corner, you can only take that to mean: they are trying to pull off a trade.
So it raises the very valid dilemma of: playing arguably your best player in the third game of the year, but also the realistic possibility that Ramsey could somehow hurt himself in the game. And while a serious injury isn’t likely, something slight like a groin or hamstring injury could come from playing in this game.
Another very valid point is that if the Jaguars could not make a trade in the last 48 hours or so for Ramsey, are they really going to get more value by trading him Friday, this weekend or next Monday?
So, here we go with the team taking what appears to be an unnecessary risk with a player who obviously privately has made it clear he wants out of North Florida.
Of course the other possible part of this is; the VP of football Tom Coughlin is willing to “play poker,” for now, with the other teams in the league that are pursuing Ramsey and might even wait another week or two before pulling the trigger.
After all the Jaguars have until October trading deadline to find the best deal possible.
However, the argument against that is that Ramsey could become a bigger distraction than what he already has and cause more problems than he already has behind the scenes for the team.
It certainly is a dilemma.
And it’s one that will play out Thursday on National TV, if and when Ramsey is out there running around, while the team is trying to deal him somewhere else, maybe as soon as the weekend.
Jaguars coach Marrone confirms Jalen Ramsey will play Thursday
Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey told the media on Tuesday that, as long as he was going to be with the Jaguars he was going to give it his all. And, that will now include the Thursday night game with the Tennessee Titans.
After speculation that Ramsey might be traded prior to the showdown with the Titans at TIAA Bank Field, Ramsey not only participated in the Wednesday walk through practice with his teammates, but coach Doug Marrone announced after practice that he will be playing in the game Thursday night:
Coach Doug Marrone said that Jalen Ramsey will be suited up tomorrow. Says “Jalen and I have always had a good open relationship… we sat down yesterday and talked about what went on with him and I… that’s behind us right now…” Says Jalen is focused on playing tomorrow.
— Tiffany Blackmon (@tiffblackmon) September 18, 2019
So, Ramsey will at least be with the Jaguars for a few more days. Speculation continues to run rampant that Jacksonville will complete a trade for Ramsey maybe, as soon as Friday after the game.
Earlier the day ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco reported that because Ramsey was on the Jaguars roster still at the end of business on Tuesday (or 48 hours before game time) that Jacksonville would still be obligated to pay him for this week
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport also says the Jaguars are holding firm in their belief that they can get two future number one picks in exchange for Ramsey.
However, that would be highly unlikely, as most teams know the Jacksonville is looking to rid themselves of the defensive back. And, Miami trading number one pick Minkah Fitzpatrick earlier in the week for a single number one pick with a swap of other mid round draft picks this year and next year, seems to have set the market.
This is particularly because, Fitzpatrick is still relatively inexpensive for the rest of this season and the next two years. However, Ramsey in the final year of his deal and if the team trading for him assumes his fifth year option his price tag, it will Skyrocket to a $13.7 million salary next year.
There is a further complication that Ramsey might reject wanting to sign a long-term deal with that team that acquires him and therefore, he essentially becomes a rental player for the remainder of this year.
Marrone further said that he spoke to Ramsey after his Tuesday news conference and team practice and they they were ready to go with Thursday’s game. The Jags are 0-2 and already in a “must win” mode for the NFC South early.
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