On Thursday afternoon with the first round of the NFL draft approaching, the Jacksonville Jaguars went ahead and secured one of their former number one picks for 2020. In a move that should not be surprising, they picked up the 5th year option on Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey
Ramsey is now under contract with Jacksonville through the 2020 season.
Ramsey is the only defensive back in franchise history with multiple Pro Bowl honors. pic.twitter.com/kTm5GniEkd
— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) April 25, 2019
Ramsey, who was selected #5 overall in the 2016 draft is slated to make $3.6 million for this season, but that will raise now to $13.7 million for 2020.
As we wrote earlier this week, there is still some debate about off-field headaches involving Ramsey, VP football Tom Coughlin and the club.
Coughlin made waves last week when, not surprisingly, he answered a question about Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith not attending the team’s voluntary workouts this week. Coughlin’s message through the media was, “they should all be here.”
That’s because, Coughlin, who coached the Giants to two Super Bowl wins, understands the commitment and unified locker room that it takes to turn around a floundering franchise.
Ramsey stayed away from all of the off-season work a year ago, which also irked Coughlin, but then his behavior towards a Jacksonville beat writer, who was trying to film Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue getting into a tussle after a training camp practice last August, got Ramsay suspended for an entire week.
The Jaguars were clearly trying to send a message for the former first-round pick from FSU to straighten up and behave, because he has a big future and the team has an important decision on giving him a big contract.
But then, simultaneously that training camp suspension, unsolicited, on his own and classlessly, Ramsey took shots at almost every active quarterback in the NFL in an extended profile article with GQ Magazine. This included, slamming quarterbacks that Ramsey knew he and his Jaguar teammates would be playing against last season and frequently in the future.
Coughlin, Coach Doug Marrone and the organization were not only embarrassed, but angered, by what Ramsey did last August. Still, the fifth year option makes smart salary cap sense and does give the team leverage to negotiate a long-term deal with Ramsey and have a backup “Plan B” of this price for 2020.
It is interesting that the Jaguars declined the option a year ago Fowler, the former number 1 pick out of Florida.
Dollar had been a bigger headache than Ramsey, as he had been arrested twice and also suspended by the NFL. The team eventually traded Fowler last October to the L.A. Rams.
Now, Jacksonville hopes that things calm on both sides and Ramsey has a season where he makes more news on, than off, the field.
Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice
After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.
Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 17, 2019
First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) August 17, 2019
Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) August 25, 2018
Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.
Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.
However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.
The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.
Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game
With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.
Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.
That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.
Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.
Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.
The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.
Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.